When was the last time a nail-biter that went, as Shastri usually says, down to the wire, satisfied you to the core? Didn't the thought that the match could be fixed cross your mind? And if it did, the match still engrossed you as its suppose to?
Match-fixing has been the darkest period for cricket and it continues to haunt us. And to me, the whole experience of watching cricket is somewhat ruined. Not because I believe in those "bookie" messages, but, simply because someone is trying to influence my love for the game.
I got a message during the India-Australia quarter-final. It said that Australia will bat first, score 270+, Ponting will score above 50, India will lose wickets but will win by 5 wickets and Sachin will score a hundred. How much of it is true and how much is close to what actually happened, we all know. Doesn't this doubt your love for the game?
Next match. India-Pakistan. Message says that Pakistan will bat first, score above 300 and India will chase it. Didn't go this way but then, every ball that was bowled, I watched with a sense of cynicism.
The grand-finale, too, had its own hits and misses but by now, I was seriously contemplating to make this "bookie" my astrologer. You know, bribing god to get the odds in my favour. 🙂
I still don't believe that the matches were fixed but there are a large number of messages that are circulated during the matches that clearly makes an impact.
Every nail biter is looked upon suspiciously as if it was fixed to perfection for the photo-finish. And every loss in such a great game is definitely bribed.
Somewhere, the integrity of the people watching the game is deeply compromised and going by the looks of it, I don't think it will be repaired in a long long time.
Well, unless Pakistan stops dropping 4 catches of a single player in one match alone, that too, a World Cup semi-final.