Hawkins defends India-Pak match-fixing claims


It is easy to dismiss Ed Hawkins’s claim that the India-Pakistan World Cup semi-final in Mohali was fixed as another author trying to create hype for his book.

But after 12 years of working as the Times newspaper’s betting correspondent, Hawkins is almost an insider who knows how the betting syndicate traps unsuspecting cricketers.

“When you’ve got a bookmaker making these sorts of claims, there’s never going to be too much buzz about it. What I am saying is this is a match which has had allegations about it before. It is only a small part — 1600 words — and there a rational analysis of the game which dwells in statistics, betting patterns and all kind of things. What I say is, have a read of the whole book,” Hawkins said.

Despite the International Cricket Council’s Anti Corruption and Security Unit (ACSU) being in place, Hawkins believes it isn’t equipped well enough to tackle this malaise.

“It’s easy to criticise the ACSU for not being able to do its work properly. Yes, there are certain areas where it lacks, such as they would be better off knowing how the betting markets work in India.

For example, someone like Ravi Sawani (former ICC ACSU chief) didn’t know what a bracket was. (Also), the workforce needs to be doubled,” he said.

Asked if the players were getting away as innocent victims, Hawkins agreed: “No one ever criticises the players, ever. In a dressing room of 16 guys, they will be the first to know when something is not right.

They need to start speaking out and leave that band-of-brothers spirit. They have to realise that the game is for them, by them and they need to start policing it them- selves.” Hawkins believes the franchise- based T20 leagues mushrooming around the world are ‘tricky’ in terms of fixing.

“T20 competitions are tricky for match-fixing and spot-fixing. Lord Paul Condon, the former ACSU chief, said he was worried about the carnival atmosphere of T20. He expressed concerns that if a player has the idea of having fun, how would it matter to him if he fixes a bracket without affecting the outcome of the game? “T20 is taken far more seriously now, but still domestic competitions are vulnerable.

Also read: Calls for probe into India-Pakistan World Cup semi-final

There are a lot of meaningless games, the domestic county games are televised now; players don’t get so much money compared to the international guys — so there’s plenty of weakness. Fixing is not an Asian problem alone, it’s a worldwide issue,” he said.


Matches

MORE TOP STORIES TODAY

On Now: Delhi vs Kolkata

On Now: Delhi vs Kolkata

Unchanged Kolkata bat, Delhi still without Pietersen More »

AB, Parthiv seal Bangalore's second win

AB, Parthiv seal Bangalore's second win

Royal Challengers overcame a stutter to cruise to the small target they were set by Mumbai Indians. More »

Glenn Maxwell carves his parallel universe

Glenn Maxwell carves his parallel universe

Glenn Maxwell seems to project an icy disdain when at the crease. Match situations rarely faze him and the bubble in which he plays excludes everyone … More »

No way back for Pietersen: ECB

No way back for Pietersen: ECB

Kevin Pietersen's hopes of reviving his international career appeared to end Saturday when ECB managing director Paul Downton said there was 'no way back'… More »

[REWIND] The world record that nearly wasn't

[REWIND] The world record that nearly wasn't

Twenty years ago this week, Brian Lara became Test cricket's highest scorer, but he almost didn't make it. More »

Moores gets second stint as England coach

Moores gets second stint as England coach

In a two-year spell from 2007 to 2009, the 51-year-old Moores led England in seven Test series. More »

BCCI is not anybody’s property — Dalmiya

BCCI is not anybody’s property — Dalmiya

Dalmiya feels that Srinivasan’s ‘power hungry’ attitude isn’t helping matters. More »

Tough for bowlers: Saeed Ajmal

Tough for bowlers: Saeed Ajmal

The 36-year-old believes the T20 format and rule changes in 50-over matches have made a real difference. More »

KP ridicules idea of day-night Tests

KP ridicules idea of day-night Tests

Kevin Pietersen has ridiculed the idea of day-night Test cricket, saying the game would be so different to proper Test cricket that we will need a whole… More »

Maxwell blitz takes Punjab home

Maxwell blitz takes Punjab home

The Kings XI batsman blasted a 43-ball 95 to help his team pull off a massive chase against Chennai Super Kings. More »

Rajasthan edge low-scoring thriller

Rajasthan edge low-scoring thriller

The bowlers restricted Hyderabad to 133 for 6 before Rahane and Binny took Rajasthan over the line. More »

BCCI members want independent probe

BCCI members want independent probe

The board members are realising after the Supreme Court's observations that something has to be done — IS Bindra More »

'BCCI lacks leaders to take on Srini'

'BCCI lacks leaders to take on Srini'

Two former BCCI presidents, Shashank Manohar and Jagmohan Dalmiya, have reacted strongly to the news of the BCCI calling an emergent meeting on Sunday… More »

Delhi look for first points against confident Kolkata

Delhi look for first points against confident Kolkata

Preview — The threat of Sunil Narine looms large again. More »

Bangalore vs Mumbai: A battle of the big-hitters

Bangalore vs Mumbai: A battle of the big-hitters

Preview — Given the firepower in both line-ups, Dubai crowd may see another high-scorer More »

Yuvraj tees off to Sharjah's delight

Yuvraj tees off to Sharjah's delight

Yuvraj Singh was hardly convincing to begin with against Delhi, but a big dose of crowd support and a helping of poor bowling meant he had the opportunity… More »

Stressed Trott stands down again

Stressed Trott stands down again

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) on Friday confirmed that batsman Jonathan Trott is to take another break from all cricket with immediate eff… More »

PCB starts another coach hunt

PCB starts another coach hunt

The PCB has decided to not extend the contracts of head coach Moin Khan, fielding coach Shoaib Mohammad and batting consultant Zaheer Abbas, and has invited… More »

Fiery star Stokes bids to curb his temper

Fiery star Stokes bids to curb his temper

England all-rounder Ben Stokes admits he must keep his anger under control if he is to end his international exile. More »

Bangalore's arsenal blazes to victory

Bangalore's arsenal blazes to victory

Yuvraj Singh was back to his best in his first match for Royal Challengers Bangalore. More »

Pakistan cricketers face probe

Pakistan cricketers face probe

Pakistani cricket authorities have launched an investigation after a number of current international stars played in exhibition matches in the United States… More »

BCCI to meet before next court hearing

BCCI to meet before next court hearing

The BCCI will hold an emergent working committee meeting on April 20 to discuss the future course of action with regard to the Supreme Court hearing concerning… More »

Gavaskar wants a clean IPL

Gavaskar wants a clean IPL

"Integrity is non-negotiable..." says the BCCI's interim chief ahead of Season 7 of the tainted league. More »

Time for Chennai to enter familiar cocoon

Time for Chennai to enter familiar cocoon

Chennai have an emphatic 8-3 lead in the head-to-head with Punjab, with one game tied More »