New book on cricket cor­rup­tion hits In­dia stores

The Pak Banker - - MARKETS/SPORTS -

A new book that takes a holis­tic look at cricket cor­rup­tion has be­gun reach­ing book­stores on the eve of the World T20. And its au­thor hopes to "rat­tle" the reader with its rev­e­la­tions. Pub­lished by Harper Sports - a divi­sion of Harper Collins - the book "takes an over­ar­ch­ing look at world cricket and var­i­ous cor­rup­tion is­sues", says its au­thor, jour­nal­ist Shan­tanu Guha Ray. "When it comes to find­ing a so­lu­tion, we ought to re­mem­ber that ICC re­fused to en­gage In­ter­pol to clean up the game," adds Guha Ray, cur­rently In­dia Editor, Cen­tral Euro­pean News.

"Like foot­ball, cricket has its fair share of il­le­gal cash, but un­like what we have seen in foot­ball, there has been no se­ri­ous ef­fort at cleans­ing it." As a re­sult, the Delhi-based writer con­tends, "cor­rup­tion will con­tinue be­cause the gravy trail is too big ... I doubt there ever will be a to­tal spring clean­ing".

This "gravy trail" is worth $150 bil­lion world­wide, says Guha Ray, who as Deputy Busi­ness Editor of In­dia To­day mag­a­zine in 2011, scooped a multi-bil­lion-dol­lar scam in In­dia's coal sec­tor, pop­u­larly known as Coalgate. "There is a bur­geon­ing mar­ket of pun­ters and book­ies across Asia and parts of Europe, South Africa and Canada which is into this busi­ness of il­le­gal cash," he tells this correspondent.

"And all those who are in it are rich. Then why are they in it? They are in it be­cause un­like me or you, they need more cash, prob­a­bly loads of them through the il­le­gal route." The book, ti­tled 'Fixed', will be for­mally launched on April 8, as the World T20 ends and the In­dian Premier League (IPL) be­gins. It is also avail­able on Ama­zon.

But Guha Roy says that the tim­ing is not a mar­ket­ing ploy to tap into the height­ened in­ter­est in the game be­cause of the World T20, ex­pected to garner a TV view­er­ship of over 1.5 bil­lion. "The launch tim­ing has noth­ing to do with IPL or the World Cup," he says.

"This is the cricket sea­son in In­dia, and it made sense to launch it now." The vet­eran jour­nal­ist says ' Fixed' has "loads of in­ter­est­ing sto­ries" rang­ing from those on Han­sie Cronje and the late Pak­istan coach Bob Woolmer to ma­te­rial on crick­eters.

The sto­ries in­clude those which sur­faced dur­ing the ICC World Cup in 2011, jointly hosted by In­dia, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. "Text mes­sages rou­tinely pre­dicted the re­sults, the most bizarre be­ing the In­dia?Pak­istan match in Mo­hali," he says of the semi-fi­nal that Shahid Afridi's team lost by 29 runs. "When the Pak­ista­nis were bowl­ing, peo­ple had in­for­ma­tion about how the next over would go, over-by-over," Guha Ray, who ear­lier worked for sports broad­caster ESPN, told this reporter over phone from Delhi.

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