Those were the days, my friend
We thought they’d never end
We’d sing and dance forever and a day
We’d live the life we choose
We’d fight and never lose
Those were the days
Oh, yes, those were the days
This classic Mary Hopkins Song comes to my mind today as current Pakistan Cricketers yet again stand bluntly exposed for Matchfixing in a sting operation captured on Video…..Spot fixing…Three No Balls predecided as revealed before by the Match Fixer Bookie M Majeed ….In the Lords test against England,M Aamer to bowl one of the first ball of the third over and M Asif to bowl one of his last ball of his tenth over !…then the next day Aamer to again bowl a No ball of the third ball of his third over……all happened on cue !….coincidence ! ?….yeah ! Mangoes grow on Apple Trees !….and this has to involve the captain S Butt too as he had the discretion to decide who bowls which over……..
Let me tell you the rot begins at the top…and not just in Pakistan !
Once upon a Time Cricket was a Gentlemens’ Game…those were the Days my friend,we thought they’d never end…….
I was a Crazy Cricket Guy…played it at school,college and club levels in India and overseas…hold the record for hitting six sixes in a six ball over…so what if it was an inter-building Tennis ball match in the 1970s !…..
I was immensely patriotic whenever India played….was nine year old in 1971 when India, under Ajit Wadekar, registered their their first two overseas Series wins 1-0 against West Indies and England..I remember being glued to the Transistor to catch the running commentary and how some excited fans had put up a makeshift scoreboard on the Kemps Corner Flyover in South Mumbai and we kept a watch on it and cheered every wicket that India took and every run that India scored….I wore half pants then…still do even now but more as a fashion !
I was an allrounder and captained my school….felt great and proud when often the newspapers covered my scores and wickets taken….I’ve scored a Century for H R College at Cross Maidan…have taken 5 wickets in an over for my Bahrain Team…have played several match winning Innings for the Indian Club in Bahrain…many against top Pakistan Teams…there was always rivalry,often heated and bitter,and even blatant umpire bias whenever we played a Pakistan Team…I remember vividly one particular day that ended in big Violence initiated by the Pakistan supporters when we were playing the seven-a- side finals…..we had beated the top Pakistan team on the island in the semis…that hurt them bad….when they saw we were winning the finals too against a joint Indo-Pak Team from a Junior League,the Pakistan supporters and even their Cricketers swarmed the playing field with Bats ,stumps,hockey sticks and bottles…I was half way through my over….and it soon became a free for all !……I was pulled off the field by Murtaza Ali Baig,the brother of ex India Cricketer Abbas Ali Baig and told to stand on the sidelines….some of my more aggressive team members were giving it back with Stumps and Bats too !…..the match was abandoned…..we were forced to share the cup by the Governing Cricket Committee that was controlled largely by Pakistan Clubs representatives………
Then I returned to India and Career took over…..yet was a regular at India Test Matches and ODIs at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai….even skipped office,pretending to be at Meetings to do so !
Those were the days my Friend…….
And then Big Money took over Cricket….where there is Money there will be stink !…so the Snake of Match Fixing reared it’s ugly and vicious head…..Bookies and Betting……adding to the Racism and Bias that always existed but now is no longer subtle
Cricket that should be Entertaining and Engrossing on the Field became so off the field too……Bollywood also made a hit film ‘Jannat’ on Cricket Matchfixing…….Cricketers from several Nations yeilded to temptation of the Quick Wicked ‘W’ trio of Wealth,Wine and Women….An Indian ex Captain was banned for Life and is now a Congress MP…Wow !
T 20 Cricket Format was created and with it’s success our IPL was born….more obscene monies….more glamour….more stink
Somewhere down the years my Patriotic fervour began ebbing whenever India played…..many reasons….matchfixing is one of them……
MatchFixing and EquityFixing !….Corruption,Obscene Monies and Insider Trading in Both…..so what’s the Difference !