On the last day of the last test match of the summer, cricket fans woke to allegations in the News of the World that several Pakistani players had been involved in a betting scandal centred on the match.
Alas, it seems likely that the allegations may be true. But we should bear in mind the following:
Firstly they are at the moment just allegations. The players, two bowlers, the wicket keeper and the captain, have made statements to the police.
Secondly, every sport suffers such goings on. Even in cricket we have had the shabby tale of Hanse Cronje in 2000, and the strange case of Shane Warne’s ‘weather forecasting’.
Lastly these bookmakers focus on young, impressionable players, in this case from a country where corruption is endemic and even the Prime Minister is known as ‘Mr 10%’. But if all this is true they cannot play for Pakistan in the future, or no one will be able to trust what is going on in the game. In the case of Mohammed Asif and Mohammed Amir, brilliant young talent will be lost to the sport. For a few dollars.