Corruption claims a blot in year of mixed fortunes for England Cricket

When the year 2018 comes to an end, everyone in the England Cricket set-up will probably say a silent ‘thank you.’ They will wish to quickly put behind them a year in which the downs, albeit few, have surpassed the ups in magnitude.

The England team suffered a record-loss at the hands of Sri Lanka in October, but that is not even the worst incident in their calendar year. Even more annoying will be the allegations of corruption within the team made in an expose by an Al Jazeera journalist. The claim stated that a group of players in the England cricket team was involved in fixing seven international matches, and said there was compelling evidence to corroborate the claims.

These seven matches were a significant proportion of an alleged 15 matches fixed. That the allegations talked of spot-fixing, which is fixing small segments of a game rather than an entire match, will do little to make the allegations less damning.

The board that oversees cricket in England and Wales did deny the allegations, but the image was already tainted and they all would want to quickly move away from it.

As of October 2018, Al Jazeera said it was handing over evidence of the corrupt deals to Interpol to take investigations to the next level. Which means that the drama is far from over. The assessment of bank activity could reveal even more details. It could be a can of worms similar to that which dogged the football world and culminated in the exit of top chiefs Sepp Blatter and Michel Platini.

It does not matter if the claims are found to be false, or that the said offences occurred as long ago as 2012. The bottom line is that they have tainted the year 2018 for England cricket and all stakeholders will be glad to see the back of the calendar year.