Was the Ireland-Pakistan match fixed?

Do I believe that Pakistan is beyond match-fixing?   NOOO

Do I consider the World cup tournament as absolutely free of match-fixing?  NOOOOO

So is the Pakistan Ireland match fixed?  My answer would be a vehement NOOOOOO!

Now why do I say that?

Now let’s get back to the match between Pakistan and Ireland that was played on 17th March 2007 at Sabina Park, Kingston

Pakistan scored 132 losing all its wickets in 45.4 overs against debutant Ireland which replied by scoring 133 for 7 in just 41.4 overs and took the match.

First of all, for Pakistan to lose in such a manner would have called for a huge amount which a country making its debut can ill-afford.  Let’s even discount this for the moment.

The next question is ‘if it was a fixed match, can just a few players be involved?’ and my answer is no.  If we look at the scorecard, only 2 players scored more than 20 and the highest was 27.  If the match was really fixed, then it means that everyone intentionally failed in batting and bowling and that’s too  far-fetched to believe.  This in turn means that everyone in the team was bought out, which is ridiculous.

I am saying this because the abysmal tolerance levels of Pakistani fans is well known and documented.  For just losing a match against India, players’ homes have been vandalized or attacked and hence there is no saying that what awaits the current Pakistani team when they reach home after thrown out of the qualifying rounds itself!! And surely every Pakistani player would be aware of the repurcussions of failure!  Not all the players would risk their lives and their chances to represent the country for just one small consideration!!

And the conspiracy theory lacks even further credence because Pakistan knew that to lose this match against Ireland would mean being thrown out of the tournament.  West Indies had earlier beaten Pak and Ireland had drawn the match against Zimbabwe.  So losing the match against Ireland would mean Ireland will have 3 points and will qualify with West Indies for the Super 8 regardless of the outcome of all the other matches in the group!   The entire world knew this and it is improbable that the Pakistan team did not know that!

Pakistan is a real proud country and the cricket team would not place the country’s reputation at the altar by deliberately quitting the most prestigious tournament at the qualifying stages itself!

I did not watch the match and hence really cannot comment on what led to their shocking defeat.  My guess would be either over-confidence or panic (having beaten by West Indies earlier psyched their confidence and made them desperate, perhaps).

Now why can’t somebody really acknowledge and applaud Ireland for their great performance?  I am doing it right now.   Great show guys!  Keep the tournament rocking!


1 Comment

  1. Jin said,

    April 15, 2007 at 7:03 pm

    Everything you said was just starting to make sense and I really felt you had a good perspective on Pakistani cricket..till you mention at the end that you did not even see the match. Well get hold of the highlights soon son. It is not that they lost that to Ireland, that the match is being believed to be fixed but the mode of dismissals. Never have I seen a vast majority (7 out of 11 batsmen) simply throwing away their wickets, as if they were angry for being let on the field. The Kamran Akmal and Azhar Mahmood dismissals look exceedingly bizzare and I don’t know about the rest but I would definitely put those two on my red list.

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