Spot-fixing has emerged as the latest threat to the integrity of cricket after the match-fixing scandal which rocked the game 10 years ago.
What is spot-fixing?
Spot-fixing involves a player agreeing to perform to order by pre-arrangement. For example, a bowler might deliberately bowl consecutive wides or no balls in his second over or a batsman could make sure he does not reach double figures. T20 cricket is particularly susceptible because so much happens so quickly that individual performances can soon be forgotten. Tim May, the chief executive of the international players’ union FICA believes that the number of T20 matches now being played could tempt players to take money in return for spot-fixing.
Betting on cricket matches televised in the Indian sub-continent is a hugely lucrative business. Fortunes can be made if a gambler knows in advance what a particular bowler or batsman is going to do. Bets can be placed on every delivery.
What’s the evidence?
Rumours have abounded since the advent of the IPL although nobody has ever been charged. Former England captain Michael Atherton said in a column that one leading former player had told him “categorically” that spot-fixing was a regular occurrence.