Thursday, 9 September 2010

Sachin sees no evil, Sri Lankans sense a storm

Speaking to NDTV the other day, Sachin Tendulkar said the following:
"In my 21 years of international cricket, I have never heard of any Indian player being approached by bookies."
Really? I guess Sachin can't have played more than a handful of matches with Ajay Sharma, so perhaps the latter's easy to forget. However, Sachin played 131 international matches with Manoj Prabhakar, 191 with Ajay Jadeja and a whopping 292 with Mohammad Azharuddin. He amassed more caps, runs, centuries, catches and wickets under Azhar than he has under any other captain before or since, and it's not as if Azhar's admission of guilt and subsequent life ban happened behind close doors.

"See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil," the saying goes. Sachin may do no evil, on account of which he gets plenty of richly deserved praise, but his recent statement does make me wonder about the whole see no monkey, hear no monkey, speak no monkey episode...

On the topic of match-fixing, over in Sri Lanka, rumours that have been circulating for some months are now being reported publicly. One newspaper has even claimed that the Guardian's David Hopps and Cricinfo's Charlie Austin are implicated in trying to expose one player in order to protect another, as the latter is managed by Austin. I must stress that I'm pretty uninformed as to whether there is any evidence against the journalists, or indeed against either of the two players supposedly involved. I'm a big fan of all four men, so hope this proves to be unfounded gossip.

It bugs me that one of Sri Lankan's best papers went to great pains to avoid printing the names of the Sri Lankans under suspicion but had no qualms about mentioning Englishmen Hopps and Austin. The descriptions in the article leave little doubt that Tillakaratne Dilshan and Angelo Mathews are the players they believe to be under the scanner.

If, like me, you're a Sri Lankan fan who finds this all quite depressing, then this might cheer you up a bit...

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