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Thursday, 27 April, 2000, 14:09 GMT 15:09 UK
Is cricket tarnished beyond repair?
Can cricket, traditionally the most gentlemanly of sports, survive the latest damaging accusations? Or is the game tarnished beyond repair?
We discussed the future of cricket today on the World Service's Talking Point LIVE.
The programme was presented by Diana Madill and in the studio answering your questions was the West Indian cricket legend Clive Lloyd.
Your comments since the programme:
Cronje's case is just the tip of the iceberg. The ICC is like a toothless tiger to tackle this latest scandal which has legal ramifications. For the game to regain its tarnished image, the players have to clean up their act and the respective authorities do some soul searching to arrest this menace.
The situation that the cricket community is in was inevitable, the only way forward I believe is to wipe the slate clean. One way I believe would be is to call an amnesty, meaning those players who have benefited from match fixing should approach the ICC in confidence and tell them of their wrong doings.
Cricket is in crisis but still has a long way to go you only have to look at boxing. Its indicative that I am already using the words 'cricket' and 'boxing' in the same sentence.
They say boxing is fixed, but it still goes on.
Cronje is not the only one. This activity goes far deeper than one or two players. Cricket needs to be cleansed but Cronje cannot be the fall guy for this cleansing process. Too many times, one player is singled out and pays the penalty while the others get off free. We need to get to the root of this problem.
Australians did not take due action against Waugh and Warne. Pakistani authorities ignored the report of their judicial probe. Indians appointed a retired-judge (?) to whitewash the scandal and save some black sheep.
Sukanta Kar, India
I think we should call cricket WWF (World Wide Fix). We can also compare it to the WWF (World Wrestling Federation). Everyone one knows that all the matches in wrestling are fixed. Now the same thing is happening in cricket. What I think whatever the ICC will do, people will still have doubts in their minds about match fixing. I really don't know how the ICC can clear the image of cricket.
Admittedly it was within the power of Hansi Cronje to dictate the tactics, however I believe that his part was only as a paid interviewee as in most cases a recorded opinion of a belief of the possible outcome of a game - and let's face it every player wants to be on the winning side.
Jon Wheeldon, N. Ireland
I think that the South Africa Cricket Board was too hasty in condemning their captain. It had all been done before but the board of that country did a quick flash over. It should have been more diplomatic in the approach. It should have been reported to the world cricket board and sorted out there.
Richard Chubb, UK
While I'm devastated by Hansie's doings, why are all the others swept under the carpet? Who are the three Indian (whose names are known to the Indian cricket board) and the three English players. From what we know at the moment, he was guilty of exactly the same thing Cronje. Let us have some consistency. Blow the whole thing open now, and don't leave us with little shocks for months to come.
If the cricket authorities had taken severe action after the England V Australia test in the 1980s when a number of the Aussies bet on themselves at odds of 500-1 to loose, (and subsequently did!) Then perhaps subsequent scandals may have been avoided. If ever a test match was "fixed", it was that one, and should be removed from the record books. The culprits should also have been given life bans at the time.
Of course cricket will survive if the cricket authorities realise that it is time to think about paying Cricketers. They don't just play for charity.
I want to bring to Mr Doodie's notice that M. Waugh while appearing on oath in front of a Judge said that they never took money and has never been involved in any money scandal. Do Australians really expect the rest of the world to believe that bookies are so stupid that they would ask cricketers to get better weather forecasts? It seems that only the ones who are caught are thieves - the rest are not.
Your comments during the programme:
This has to be stamped out of cricket.
We can't let this thing fester. It needs urgent treatment. When a team low-down in the ratings beats a good team like Australia we should applaud their achievement rather than wonder about match-fixing.
The problem is with money rather than with the game. We don't deserve to lose Hanse Cronje. He was one of the best gentlemen in the game.
We need evidence upfront. If we find people transgressing the law we have to throw them out.
Match fixing is equivalent to using steroids in athletics. Those caught should be banned for a pretty long time.
This problem started with Mark Waugh and Shane Warne. Not because they were the first ones to do this but because they were caught and nothing was done. The Australian Cricket Board kept quiet about it and this set a bad precedent. The ICC must take action against them.
Money is a subsidiary of success. People always want to sponsor you. Without them there would be no money in the sport. Once the Australian cricket board had realised these guys had transgressed, they should have taken the evidence to the ICC so that they were disciplined.
There was a hue and cry when the SA and Pakistani tour. The ICC never took up the matter with the Pakistani cricket board. Someone should have taken up the matter at the time of the Mark Waugh and Shane Warne revelations.
Players are playing so many matches and tournaments which turn out to be meaningless. It's too easy for players to think matches are not important and to be open to approaches. We heard of one case where the players were approached to throw the match and they considered it because they were just tired.
The ICC should run the fixtures and everybody should be playing an equal amount. When we played India in Canada in September, India had already played 61 one-day games in the year. Tendulkar, the captain and their biggest crowd-puller, didn't play. The public is being robbed because they're not seeing players playing at full strength.
The ICC should be held responsible for the Cronje issue. Match-fixing takes away the flavour of the sport. There should be no exception. Predicting the match can be like fixing the match.
No-one has pointed the finger so far at umpires. It won't be long before they are more vigorously scrutinised for their actions on the field. How do they influence the game and how do you think umpiring can be scrutinised better?
Umpires can influence the game just like a captain can. They are saying that that umpires might be involved in match-fixing too.
I'm involved in organising the international tournament in Sharjah and I'm amazed when people talk about meaningless matches. When a player represents his country its not meaningless.
Hanse is a pawn in the game and there are bigger sharks in the Indian subcontinent. I think the cricketing authorities including the boards must be involved in this. That's why they don't want to bring out the truth. It's a big menace and we should restore sanity to the game.
Money has become the alpha and omega of our whole society. We should understand why players behave in this way - they are a reflection of society. Cricketers don't have any special upbringing. We have to see it in the socio-economic context.
In the 1980s the late E.W. Swanton said the spirit of cricket is in mortal danger because commercialism has been allowed to run rampant. What success can be expected from international efforts to remedy a problem some observers say is too profound and complicated? A balance should be struck between commercialisation and the spirit of the game. Cricketers are alienated by being tied to the almighty dollar.
Cricketers need a reasonable standard of living for putting their best years into a sport they love. If they want to be greedy we have no place for people of that nature.
You are talking about giving an aspirin to a man dying of cancer. The origins are behind the structure of one-day cricket. A batsman has the opportunity to play a rash stroke because he is in the pocket of a book-maker.
All Mark Warne and Shane Waugh did was bet. They were found with pitch and weather reports. At least they came clean. I'm dismayed by the revelations about Hanse Cronje.
There's a big overreaction on this. Players should be given the benefit of the doubt. They are running to conclusions before anything has been substantiated.
I was always brought up with the image of cricket as a gentleman's game and it should be regarded as such. There has to be some sort of reparation made. Cricketers found guilty should be banned for life.
The phrase 'It's not cricket' means a lot to me. Anyone found tarnishing this game should be dealt with severely.
Disclaimer: The BBC will use as many of your questions as possible but we cannot guarantee that all e-mails will be published. The BBC reserves the right to edit comments that are published.
12 Apr 00 | Cricket
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