Wednesday, May 16, 2012


There has been so much talk about match fixing that it is now becoming hard to ignore. At the very outset, I would like to state that ‘I do not believe a match can be fixed, although there may be instances of spot fixing’. This article speaks about why the result of a match cannot be fixed? If you are among those who are adamant that matches are fixed, I request you to read this with an open mind without any preconceptions.

This IPL has witnessed a number of last over finishes; a few have been won off the last ball. These wins off the last ball are being looked at suspiciously by the common man. People are saying that ‘the bowler purposely bowled a bad ball’, ‘why did he not bowl a yorker’ etc. Firstly, learn to appreciate a great cricket match which has gone down to the wire. Secondly, a full toss doesn’t automatically go for six, neither does a half tracker. In all my years of watching cricket, I can say with utmost confidence that more than a fair share of full tosses have cost a bowler less than 6 runs. In limited overs cricket, a low full toss was and sometimes still is, considered to be a very useful ball to bowl in the death overs. So it amazes me how people say that the match is fixed because a batsman hit a full toss for six. What if he mis-hits it? What if the bowler attempting to bowl a full toss ends up bowling a Yorker or a very low full toss which the batsman can’t hit for six? What happens to all the money then? And even more surprising is how does the bookie know that a particular bowler is going to bowl the last over? And how does one know that the match itself will go to the last over? I would really like to know the answers to these questions. If you then argue that the whole match is fixed and the players are playing to a script, I would say its as impossible as having a man on the sun. Cricket is a sport which is played live in front of thousands of people and millions watching it live on TV. It is not a movie where the actor is allowed to make mistakes and have re-takes. A batsman can get out to a bad ball, a ball he was ‘fixed’ to have hit for 6. What happens to the script then?

To fix the result of a cricket match, you need to ‘buy’ the captain. Look at some of the captains in the IPL – Rahul Dravid, Sourav Ganguly, Adam Gilchrist, Sangakkara..... Would a bookie even dare to approach these men with money to throw a game away? I doubt they would throw a game away even if held at gun-point. MS Dhoni has achieved everything a captain can, would it make any sense for him to think of using unfair practices to influence the result of a match. Then there are players like Sachin Tendulkar, Kallis, Jayawardene who are legends of the game. Would a bookie dare to approach them? How much does money motivate them now? And players like Virat Kohli, ABD, Raina and Rohit Sharma are on their way to becoming legends, why would they do anything silly to jeopardise that? Captains, legends and rising stars constitute about 50-60 percent of every team. The remaining are the Indian domestic players. These players work so hard, have made huge sacrifices to pursue their cricketing dream and are on a constant struggle to get where they are now. All of them dream to play for India and continue to work towards achieving that dream. By accepting money to throw a match, they are putting themselves at immense risk. Yes they can earn a quick buck, but what after that? They may be dropped from the team and might not get a contract for the next season. What will they fix then?

There has been much spoken about the money in Indian cricket – mostly criticised. The BCCI must be commended for marketing and managing the game and the funds well enough to become one of the richest sport bodies in the world. BCCI was not born rich; it grew into its current position. A lot of credit must go to the players for making India a team to reckon with on the world stage. Equal credit should go to the administrators for managing the game well and creating the infrastructure that we see now. What this money and richness in Indian cricket has done is invaluable. It has ensured that players on the domestic circuit are well paid. Ranji trophy cricketers can lead a comfortable life from what they earn. Add to that IPL contracts for 30 lakhs a year and you have a more than comfortable life. One bad incident, and the player is set to lose all this (include pension to that).

At the same time, I would say that there may be cases of spot fixing. When you have so many players, there may be one or two who would want to take the short-cut to success. This is why the game should be monitored closely at all times and it is. Players found guilty should be banned for life. Young players should be educated about how to deal with agents.

Cricket is a sport, not a movie. It does not follow a script, it cannot. Matches cannot be fixed, it is impossible. Respect the game and respect the sportsmen – their human and are allowed to bowl a bad ball or drop an easy catch. 

If you are still suspicious look at the way a Dale Steyn runs into bowl, look at the passion with which these guys play their cricket! Respect!


  1. Excellent Article. I am a firm believer that a match cannot be fixed at all. Some great finishes in this IPL 5 and the men who made them possible should not be criticized. Let us enjoy the game first. A common man jumps in a stand enjoying the stroke played by a player. We should not throw doubts on his mind and make his joy a suspision. The Game is bigger than all and the spirit of the game always lives.

  2. thank you so much and you are absolutely right!!!! The spirit of the game will always live!!

  3. Hello Arjun,

    I would say, this is a wonderful article. Love the arguments. And, its a very well written piece. Shows the true spirit of the game. I really can't single out a line, to say which was amazing.Cuz, at the cost of being redundant the entire article was a brilliant one.
    Finally, i would like to quote motorhead's The Game- "its all about the game and how you play it
    All about control and if you can take it."

  4. Best and simple article to guide common people who always think all matches are fixed,I hope everyone read this.

  5. thanks a lot Vero.. thnks Vinay