The Lighter Side – Game, Set and MatchFix
Welcome to ‘Game, set and matchfix’, a special edition of ‘The lighter side’.
Before we get to the show,
a disclaimer: All the reports here are based on completely baseless unreliable sources. We only compile them and present it to you. If we catch hold of our reporters, we will sue them on your behalf.
The final test of the 4 match series between England and Pakistan was played at Lord’s and England won the test by a record margin, and with it, wrapped up the series 3-1. The game however took a back seat with off-field match and spot fixing allegations coming into the limelight.
A bookie, Mazhar Majid, was caught in a sting operation by British tabloid ‘News of the World’. The tabloid caught him on tape accepting money by predicting the delivery of 3 no-balls by Pakistani pace duo, Mohammad Amir and Mohammad Asif. Right on cue, the duo delivered no-balls at precisely the time that Majid had predicted. Majid has since been arrested, bailed out and then arrested again.
6 Pakistani players have been tainted in this scandal; captain Salman Butt, Mohd. Amir, Mohd. Asif, wicket-keeper Kamran Akmal, Wahab Riaz and Umar Amin. Amir and Asif were the 2 found to be guilty as there is documented proof of them bowling the no-balls.
When contacted about the allegations, said Asif, ‘As if I could do such a thing! All this is an attempt to frame me. Sure, I might have been caught with drugs at some point in time but there is no way I did any sort of fixing; well except for my helmet. See, I got hit on the helmet while training and I had to naturally fix it. I even used Dr.FixIt. If you don’t believe me, I can show you the remaining glue in the tube.’ After this explosive revelation, the shares of Pidilite, the makers of Dr.FixIt fell drastically on the Bombay Stock Exchange.
Wahab Riaz was seen on the video, taking a coat that contained money from Majid. When quizzed about this, Majid said, ‘Of course I don’t deny taking the coat from Mr.Majid. What do you expect? It was my first tour to England and I didn’t know what the climate was going to be like. How was I to know that England will be cold even in the summer? That’s why I asked my friend Mr.Majid to give me his coat. Since he was British and was used to the chill, he gladly gave it to me. I don’t know anything about any money in any pocket.’ When interrupted and told that no mention of money was made anywhere thus far, he replied, ‘Of course! That’s what I said! I don’t know anything about any money in any pocket.’
Butt calling Butt
Ijaz Butt, chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), was rushed to England to try and make some sense of the controversy. He held high level meetings with the three players in direct question, Asif, Amir and the Butt; Salman that is. Salman was the one asked to take responsibility and clear all the allegations. The Butts engaged in a meeting that lasted nearly two hours. In the end of it, Mr.Butt, Ijaz that is, came out and addressed the press. ‘I have had a long and fruitful discussion with Butt. I can safely say that he is innocent but there is undoubtedly some malice involved in this whole saga. We will get to the bottom of it,’ Butt said. Until they do get to the bottom of it, Salman will be the butt of many a joke.
Veena pulls the strings
Meanwhile, in another story that is developing, Veena Malik, erstwhile girlfriend of Asif, has sensationally claimed that she knew about Asif fixing matches. She said that she had a suspicion ever since she went through Asif’s phone records. Why did she go through his phone records? ‘Well, Asif proposed to me one day, I wanted to know if he was genuine. So I had his calls screened to see if he was in touch with some other girl. I found out some very interesting results. I found that there were about 17 messages in 15 days to a number in India. I got suspicious and called up that number thinking that I would find a girl on the other end of the line but I found a man, Mr. Dheeraj Dixit on the other end of the line. Naturally any girl would be glad that there was not another woman but I somehow felt shocked initially. I had just watched Dostana. Luckily, my fears were unfounded as I soon learnt to stop being so paranoid.’
Later on, she went on to claim that Asif had gone on a one day trip to Thailand to meet Mr.Dixit and discuss some endorsements. She said that she was miffed as she handled all of Asif’s endorsements and this was something new to her. ‘Naturally, I smelt something fishy. No, not the Kerala fish curry that I was cooking that day, but metaphorically speaking. I am convinced that Asif was indeed fixing matches. I was watching a game on TV which Pakistan had almost lost and commented to him casually that Pakistan should play better to which he laughed and replied that Pakistan wouldn’t win any more matches that year.’ We have since learnt that that was the last match Pakistan played that year.
Veena’s explosive revelations have guaranteed her some TRP and a lot of fame. Says out entertainment expert, ‘She is Pakistan’s answer to Rakhi Sawant. Veena comes with no strings attached.’
Pakistan blames India
In a sensational turn of events, Pakistan has come out and said that the Indian Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) was involved in deliberately hiring Majid to set up the Pakistan team and get them banned from world cricket. The report from Pakistan also claims that since India and Pakistan were almost constantly at war, it is only natural that RAW must have a part to play in this controversy. The report stated that Mr. Sharad Pawar was the mastermind behind the plan.
Said a spokesperson, ‘India has been in the business of match fixing and spot fixing for years now. In fact, they even have an official portal for it. I think it’s called something like bharatmatrimony.com . I have heard that they have regional sites like tamilmatrimony.com even. What more proof can I give you?’ When asked about the spot fixing, he said that he had the statistics for the booking of marriage halls for the past 3 years and there was a sudden increase in the number of spots fixed. He also added, ‘India also openly admits to fixing matches. We have recorded evidence that during manufacture, about 7% of the matches produced are broken and there is a special unit in Sivakasi to fix these matches.’ Pakistan claims to have a cast iron case against India’s match fixing and has vowed to put an end to it.
Clearly, the saga is far from over and now it has been leant that Scotland Yard has detained the tainted trio for further questioning. ‘This doesn’t worry the lads one bit’, said Mr. Yawar Saeed, manager of the Pakistan cricket team. ‘These boys have grown up playing in the Pakistan yards. Scotland yard should not prove to be much of a problem.
Meanwhile, Shahid Afridi has vowed to take it upon himself to bring back Pakistan to its former glory. ‘In light of these sad revelations, I hereby declare that I am once again 18 years old. I was 18 till last year but I felt that Pakistan cricket could do with an elder statesman and hence became 30. Now, I have to become 18 again so that I can play again till I am 30 and then maybe think of retirement. Also, I hereby un-retire myself and announce that I am the captain again.’
In conclusion, we asked our cricket expert on what he felt about all this to which he replied, ‘it’s sad to see really. Back in my time, there were controversies when there were bouncers, beamers and underarm balls bowled. These days, all the controversies seem to be when there are no balls involved.’ We think he meant no-balls.