There still appears to be more questions than answers at the moment, but the Spot-Fixing scandal now (thankfully) seems to be moving to a faster conclusion after ICC charged the 3 men in question with “various offences” under the provisions of the Anti-Corruption Code.
What the offences are, we don’t know as that information hasn’t been released. Questions have also been asked of why it took ICC until Thursday to charge them in light of the evidence already in the public domain.
Personally, I wonder was the ICC’s decision reached after the bombastic inputs from Pakistan’s high commissioner to the UK, Wajid Shamsul Hasan?
Hasan, who seems like a man who can make Ijaz Butt look moderate, started his tirades earlier in the week by claiming the players were innocent, and his evidence is? Because they told him so.
This man is something else, could you really see a British equivalent behaving in such a brash manner in these sort of circumstances? I couldn’t, as I think he might find himself out of a job.
Surely a man in a position of such importance should be more cautious with his remarks. After such a robust defence if the accusations turn out to be true how can he ever be taken seriously again? There are better and more diplomatic ways of defending your fellow countrymen than the way Hasan has gone about things.
He then later went on to claim that the whole thing was a set up by the News of the World, and that they would take the paper “to a court of law to defend them”. Not surprisingley, the NOTW were not impressed and after saying the claims were “ludicrous”, they rather ominously said “watch this space”.
Hasan, then on Friday accused ICC of “playing to the public gallery,” in suspending the trio. He also accused ICC of giving assurances that they wouldn’t act until Scotland Yard’s investigation were over. All of this was unsurprisingley denied by Haroon Lorgat.
With further claims that Ijaz Butt had to be pursuaded to withdraw the players from the rest of the tour to protect the integrity of the game by Haroon Lorgat, it is no wonder that ICC had to take the lead and suspend them. It looks like they had no choice but to act, as it would appear they would be waiting a long time if they waited for the Pakistani authorities to take the lead.
I’m now waiting for Ijaz Butt to start shooting from the hip as well, that should be fun, it’s remarkable how after a week he hasn’t come out with some outrageous take on what has happened.
There is apparently a game of cricket to be played sometime soon, but in the current constant media frenzy it is easy to forget this. Although maybe that could yet be in the balance depending on what the NOTW comes out with this Sunday. It is almost certain that the newspaper has plenty more up it’s sleave, and is the best/worst of the news still yet to come?
In the meantime we can wait and see what claims and counter claims come out on Saturday. Maybe Hasan will have a day off, and see if he can be bettered by Ijaz Butt, or anybody else that fancies a go.
If it wasn’t so serious to the game of cricket, it would all be quite funny.
The ICC are guilty of doing nothing. They have to act. The game is the biggest loser out of this mess.