Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Spot-fixing and the slippery slope

Responding to my post on spot-fixing at Different Strokes, my friend David Coady (at the University of Tasmania) pointed out a little side-effect I hadn't thought about:
Seems to me the problem with spot-fixing is that once you've done it once, [you are in] the book-maker's power and have to go along with whatever he proposes, since he's in a position to blackmail you. Police get into a similar position when they accept small gifts from 'grateful' citizens.

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Blogger Megha said...

Hmm...that is what a friend and I were discussing yesterday..once you are in, it is difficult to get out..

10:13 AM  
Blogger Jaunty Quicksand said...

Surely you jest, Samir? It was such an obvious thing, I did not even think it may not have crossed people's minds. This was one of the first things that I thought of when I heard about this scandal.

In for a penny, in for a pound, it seems (ironically).

Read the article that first broke the news and you will see the disdainful way in which the bookie wakes up (someone he claims is) Amir, taunts him, and then tells him to sleep while addressing him with an expletive. Read it and you will see that it was not a conversation between equals, but rather seemed like one between a superior and a subordinate individual.

3:53 PM  
Anonymous Tony said...

The hook. It's long been a technique to nab suckers in film, book and yes, real life.

6:15 PM  
Blogger Samir Chopra said...

Megha: Yeah, see JQ's comment below as well.

JQ: What can I say? My brain is exhausted dealing with all these disasters that keep happening to cricket.

Tony: Yup, I'm especially struck by the business of how easily Amir could have been bullied in this - he seems like a babe in the woods.

6:55 AM  
Blogger Suhas said...

I had the same thought, Samir. If the PCB's claim that they warned the players about distancing themselves from guys like Majeed is correct, it's the one thing they've done right all this while.

This reminds me of a line from someone's (I forget whose) opinion piece in 2000, after Ali Bacher blamed the subcontinent and its network of bookies for pressurising his players into fixing: "The UCSB should have probably instructed its players on how to say 'no' in ten different languages".

3:59 AM  

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