Steve Waugh says bracket fixing is newest threat to cricket

Steve Waugh feels a portion of the limited-over format is being manipulated by this new form of fixing © Getty Images

Aug 12, 2013

Former Australian captain Steve Waugh has said that bracket fixing is the newest threat to the game of cricket along with spot-fixing and the bookmakers are making a lot of money.

“With bracket fixing, a segment of 50-over game or a Twenty 20 contest is manipulated,” said Waugh in an interview to news.com.au.

According to Waugh, “In a five-over period, for example, the corrupt players ensure a certain amount of runs are scored, and if a captain is involved, the whole process can be achieved discreetly and effectively … opportunities to put such schemes into action are widespread, especially in second-tier tournaments such as domestic T20 competitions and other events away from the prying eyes of global media and more stringent match officials.”

The former player said that these issues were discussed when Waugh, who is a member of Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) World Cricket Committee, met in a meeting in Perth in 2010 along with corruption.

Around the turn of the century, after some prominent players including Test captains were found guilty of corruption, a number of national cricket boards chose not to have certain leads fully investigated, for fear more star players might be implicated.

The danger now lurks with the advent of Twenty 20 leagues sprouting up all over the cricket world, featuring numerous examples of private ownership of franchises. An influential and powerful owner can hand pick a captain who will follow his instructions, whatever they may be, even if they are against the spirit and ethos of the game.