Islamabad: March 15, 2012
Illegal bookies in India and elsewhere remain undeterred as the latest fixing claims focus on the role of Bollywood actresses being used as honey traps for international players, said a Pakistani daily.
An editorial in the News International Thursday said that old rivals Pakistan and India will meet in a "mouth-watering" Asia Cup clash in Dhaka next Sunday almost a year after their historic World Cup semi-final in Mohali.
"Unfortunately, the March 18 match comes just days after fresh 'revelations' that match-fixing remains rife in world cricket even after four international players including three Pakistanis and a Briton were slapped with bans and jail sentences in the last six month after being found guilty of corruption," it said.
It cited a leading British daily report, quoting an Indian bookie, that said the 2011 World Cup semi-final involving Pakistan and India was fixed.
"Pakistan lost that match, leaving millions of their fans heartbroken. Even at that time, there were suspicions of wrongdoing especially at the way some of the Pakistani batters performed during the run-chase in Mohali," the editorial said.
It added that the latest fixing claims focus on the role of Bollywood actresses being used as honey traps for international players.
Stressing that denials and clarifications cannot curb this menace of match-fixing, the editorial said: "...it's clear that, despite prison terms awarded to international cricketers, illegal bookies in India and elsewhere remain undeterred".
"It is widely believed that there will be illegal gambling worth hundreds of millions of dollars in Sunday's match between Pakistan and India.
"Notwithstanding the tall claims by the ICC (International Cricket Council) regarding its anti-corruption measures, there are no guarantees that it will be a clean game. And the worst part is that even if it is, a growing number of cynical cricket fans will always have their doubts. And that is cricket's greatest misfortune today," it added. (IANS)