As far as cricket goes you’d be forgiven for thinking that the only match that anyone really has any care for is the Ashes between England and Australia. I mean it’s not every day that Betfair takes time out to distribute free coffee to commuters now is it?
Last summer though was a watershed when it comes to the controversial nature of the game and it didn’t include either of these two teams.
Pakistan were touring England last summer, when three of their younger players were caught up in a spot betting scandal surrounding one of the test matches. The players involved included captain Salman Butt, Mohammad Asif, and Mohammad Amir, who have all now been charged with “conspiracy to obtain and accept corrupt payments.”
It centered around them bowling no balls at certain times when people had illegally gambled money on what the outcome would be.
The offence they committed means they can now be tried in a criminal court, and becomes the highest profile test-case of the new legislation introduced five years ago to prevent cheating at gambling.
If they are found guilty the terms can be a maximum of seven years and two years in jail for the respective offences, and also include the alleged “fixer”, Mazhar Majeed.
It will be interesting if there is any reaction in Pakistan to this ruling as it’s situated in one of the current growth areas in gambling, Asia.