Cricket is a sport that finds a lot of admiration among its fans for its integrity. But, that has not always been the case. Here are the top 10 match-fixing scandals of all times:
The man of the match in the finals of West Indies’ 2012 20-20 World Cup campaign, Marlon Samuels was once involved in a major match-fixing scandal. In 2008, Samuels was suspected of handing out information regarding team tactics and moves to a bookie ahead of the West Indies and India match in Nagpur in 2007.
The West Indian maintained his stance to be innocent, but recorded tapes of a phone conversation led him to a two-year ban from cricket. He returned to international cricket in 2010 and made a good career for himself, winning many matches for West Indies.
Mervyn Westfield was the first English Cricketers to be held for spot-fixing after his confession in 2012.jIn 2012, police arrested Westfield on suspicion of “match irregularities” in the 2009 domestic season. He was sent to prison for four months and the English Cricket Board banned him for life from playing cricket in England and Wales, after admitting to accepting a £6000 bribe to bowl intentional wides.
Salman Butt, Mohammad Amir, and Mohammad Asif
In 2010, players of Pakistan’s national cricket team were busted by a sting operation by News of the World for taking bribes from a bookmaker named Mazhar Majeed to bowl no-balls in a Test match.
Salman Butt, Mohammad Asif, and Mohammad Amir were found guilty and banned by ICC for a period of 5 to 10 years. In 2011, they were sent to jail for 6 to 32 months on charges of fixing in Test matches.
Shane Warne and Mark Waugh
Australian Cricketers Shane Warne and Mark Waugh were believed to have taken money from an Indian bookie named John in 1994-95 in exchange for information regarding weather and pitch conditions.
Australian Cricket board tried to keep this under the covers but the news eventually broke. In 1998, when the scandal came to light, Warne and Waugh defended saying that they never revealed strategic material.
Interestingly, Shane Warne testified against former Pakistani Captain Salim Malik for bribing him to lose matches.
Mohammad Azharuddin, an accomplished batter and Indian Captain was accused of match-fixing in the year 2000. Hansie Cronje was believed to have had involvement in the case.
When confessing his misdeeds, Cronje informed investigators that Azhar introduced him to bookies. The investigation found Azharuddin guilty of fixing 3 ODIs. ICC and the BCCI then banned him for life. Later, Azhar had alleged that he was being dragged into a conspiracy because he was Muslim.
In 2012 Andra Pradesh high court lifted the ban.
In what is believed to be one of the biggest scandals, Sreesanth was involved in a spot-fixing incident in the ITL in 2013. Ajit Chandila and Ankeet Chavan were the other accused players. Police then investigated 23 others including bookies, actors, co-owners for betting and committing other illegal activities.
Police also accused them of their connections with underworld lords Dawood Ibrahim and Chhota Shakeel. The Kerala Supreme court shortened Sreesanth’s lifetime ban to seven years. The ban ended in September 2020.
Hansie Cronje’s links with Sanjay Chawla (a well-known member of the Indian betting syndicate) shattered the cricketing world. The Delhi Police had records of their shady conversations.
Initially, Cronje denied all charges of match-fixing but later during cross-examination, he broke down. In the end, Hansie Cronje faced a complete ban from cricket for a lifetime. In 2002, he died in a plane crash giving rise to theories that someone murdered Cronje.
Salim Malik, a celebrated Pakistani player in the 80s and 90s, was accused of taking bribes during tours in South Africa and Zimbabwe, but he came off clean and continued playing the game.
After playing over 100 Test matches, Malik’s career came to a halt. Authorities found him guilty of match-fixing Scandals In Cricket and he received a ban for life.
Manoj Prabahakar and Ajay Jadeja
Manoj Prabhakar, in the year 1998, informed BBCI about a match-fixing scandal that was of the biggest scale in history. Jadeja accused that a teammate had tried to bribe him with Rs 25 lakh.
The same teammate tried to give money to Manoj to underperform in a match against Pakistan in 1994. It was later found out in an investigation that the fingers were being pointed at Kapil Dev. In 2000, after officers had raided houses of some major players and cricket officials. Azharuddin and Ajay Sharma faced a complete ban. Manoj Prabhakar, Ajay Jadeja, and Ajay Sharma were accused of having connections with bookies.
New Zealander Chris Cairns was accused of having fixed a match during his time with the Chandigarh Lions in the Indian Cricket League (ICL) by ICC.
His former teammate Lou Vincent accused Cairns of approaching him to fix matches. Brendon McCullum also told the Anti-Corruption and Security Unit (ACSU) of being forced into fixing. Cairns, however, insisted that he did not fix any match.
It is understood that Cairns was paid more than $250,000 by Vijay Dimon, a diamond firm run by Vijay Shah Cairns had met Vishal at a charity cricket event. Cairns said the money was to set himself up in Dubai for a career post cricket.