The match-fixing saga has once again rocked the cricketing world. This, however, can be called the second phase of the tragedy. In the first phase, many heads, including top cricketers like former Indian captain Mohd Azaharuddin, Ajay Jadeja, former South African captain Hansie Cronje, Herschell Gibbs, Shane Warne and Mark Waugh of Australia, Rashid Latif and Moin Khan of Pakistan, were rolled. Some of them had to even face the life ban.
In the second phase, so far two names __ Marlon Samuels and Chris Gayle of West Indies __ have come into picture.
It is indeed pity that despite CBI probe and ICC's (International Cricket Council) efforts, the racket is still going on unabated. This is probably because the law in this regard is very weak. And secondly, the bribes offered by the betting syndicates run into several crores of rupees. Due to this, the police are not serious about tackling the menace, it seems.
The full page report on match-fixing phase II, published in The Times of India (TOI) dated Feb 9, hardly shows any substance which proves Samuels' nexus with alleged bookie Mukesh Kochhar.
The conversation between Kochhar and Samuels ahead of the Nagpur one-day match, published in TOI, proves nothing but a mere conversation.
According to the conversation, the bookie asked Samuels, `What do you think, who will bat?' Samules did not reply.
When the bookie asked, `When do you get on to bowl?' Again Samuels did not reply. And when the bookie asked Samuels, `who will be bowling tomorrow?' Samuels said he will be bowling. He did not reveal anything objectionable which could have helped the bookie.
But Samuels and Gayle's overstay in India raises some eyebrows. According to TOI report, they stayed in the country for a reality show. It is indeed questionable, why did they refuse to take boarding and lodging facilities? Why they decided to stay with their friend and who was that friend?
Later, they did turn up at the venue for shooting a bit late. But then, left the venue without shooting and did not return. Alka Sinha