Monday, March 28, 2011

Rehman Malik was right. The Pakis would have fixed the match!

There is no doubt in my mind about this. Pakistani cricketers routinely fix matches. It’s been proven in the past. Under normal circumstances, they would also be happy to fix the SF with India. It’s really not that difficult to understand why they do this. There is very strong economic rationale for this. National pride and all that is fine....but this SF offers a once in a lifetime opportunity to the Paki cricketers to rake in good money. Really good money. And if your own President is known as the 10% man, then why should the Paki cricketers even feel guilty about doing this?

The reasons for the Paki penchant for match fixing lie in the Pakistani economy! Unlike a buzzing economy that India has, the Pakistani economy is a failed one. Pakistan simply does not have the economic behemoths who could pay decent endorsement fees to their cricketers. I searched the net and could hardly find anything on the brands that even Shahid Afridi endorses. Afridi is apparently the most sellable of Paki cricketers, and yet there is hardly any brand that he endorses. In fact, the most recent stories are about his deal with an Indian brand.....Dabur Hajmola. Pepsi (Pakistan) also has him as a brand ambassador. But that’s about it. Here’s another interesting nugget I found! There was been a huge furore in Pakistan recently when Misbah-ul-haq decided to play for Bangalore Royal Challengers in IPL-4! Why? Because Islam does not support alcohol and the Royal Challengers is all about alcohol! It’s not like he agreed to endorse a UB brand. He just agreed to play in their team....Ridiculous!

Cricketers in Pakistan are as popular in their country as Indian cricketers are in India, but they simply don’t have a legal revenue model to monetize their fame. Plus.....they realize that they have a limited shelf life. This makes them really desperate. They are like a hungry pack of wolves who will devour anything that comes their way! Even if it is slush money. It’s the same as happens with many politicians and babus in India. Lots of fame and power, but no money. It’s obvious that corruption will thrive in an environment like this.

Don’t also forget that cricket in Pakistan has proven to be a big leveller when it comes to providing opportunities to play for the country. Many of the players in the Paki team are people who have come from humble backgrounds. Mired in poverty even. Frankly, cricket is their only hope of taking their families out of this muck. They don’t care much for values and ethics partly because of this compelling urge to rise; partly also because they see people all around them doing the same.

So I don’t blame Rehman Malik when he warned.....sloppily as usual of course!.....his team mates about match fixing. He knows that not only is his team capable of doing it; it would most likely already have done it! It was being reported last night on Indian TV that almost Rs 5000 crores worth of bets had been placed on the India-Pak match in the betting markets of Bombay, Dubai, London and Karachi. If even a small fraction of this sum was used to swing the results of the match, it would be a huge pile. And if one of the teams is willing to play along.....why would the bookies not take advantage of it?

Notice also.....the bookies are heavily favoring the Indians to win. The reason is obvious. It’s not to do with the stronger side that we probably are. It’s just the ease and comfort in asking the Pakis to lose a match rather than the Indians. If the bets were against India, then Indian cricketers would have to be bribed and that’s so much more difficult and expensive! Indian cricketers make a pile of money legally. Everyone knows of the Rs 300 crore 3-year minimum guarantee deal that Sachin signed a few years back. Before that, he had signed a similar sum for a 5-year term I think. Dhoni has reportedly raced ahead of Sachin in the endorsements game. It’s the same with Viru, Yuvi, Bhajji and Gauti. On an average, an ace Indian cricketer endorses more than 15 brands; and makes a pile of money in the process. All legally. No hanky panky. The fees that the BCCI pays doesn’t even matter! The strong economy of India makes sure that Indian cricketers are legally able to monetize their fame. To bribe them would need hundreds of crores.....why would you do that if you could get away with a small fraction of that with the Paki team?!

With so much pressure on them.....what would be going thru a Paki cricketer’s mind? He would be a terrified man. Paki bowlers would be petrified that if they didn’t take wickets for whatever reason, their people back home will accuse them of doing it intentionally. Their batsmen would also be under similar pressure. Under such circumstances two things can happen: either the team can wilt or it can rise very strongly. A team with character would rise strongly.....just to prove a point. But the Pakistani team is a team which does not have a strong character. Except for Afridi and maybe Misbah, most others are fragile and insecure. Look at how they handled Shoib Akhtar after just one drubbing he got from the New Zealanders. He’s now planning retirement! A team like this cannot handle the pressure and will most likely crumble tomorrow.

On the other hand, they do have the junoor factor. If their junoon gets provoked, they will declare a jihad over India! They will fight like never before. To survive. To live another day. They will bury their differences; forget their immediate financial compulsions. Such a Pakistani team would be difficult to handle. Let’s hope and pray that this does not happen!

The real truth is that the Pakistanis are most likely going to score a self goal. A lost match is soon forgotten......but money in the bank is permanent! If the match does get fixed, it will be a really sad day. The problem is that no one will ever know the truth. They may lose just like any team can lose on a bad day; or they may lose because of the money they took. No one will ever know......either way I am predicting that we will win tomorrow!

No comments:

Post a Comment