Opinion: Five famous stings and leaks

Australia

Cricket has been rocked in recent weeks by allegations of match fixing in the sport. It is nothing new. There has been talk of matches being for years now, with many suggesting that it was well established in the seventies and before.

Cricket has been rocked in recent weeks by allegations of match fixing in the sport. It is nothing new. There has been talk of matches being for years now, with many suggesting that it was well established in the seventies and before.

So what has led to this flurry of revelations? Well it certainly isn't the cricketing authorities uncovering the wrong doing. Instead we found out what is going on thanks to the interventions of journalists or whistle blowers.

The information relating to Lou Vincent's nefarious goings on are not the first time information has come to light in this way. And while cricket carries on burying its head in the sand like a particularly stubborn ostrich you can sure it won't be the last.

Here are some of the leaks and stings that we have had over the years.

<b>News of The World – 2010</b>

Perhaps the first time that 'spot fixing' become a phrase that every cricket fan was aware of, in 2010 the News of the World arranged for Pakistani bowlers to deliver no balls to order. As much as anything else these planned no balls were to show the undercover journalists of the control that the middle man had over these players.

That fixer in every sense of the word was Mazher Majeed, a British man that had managed to get close to the players involved. Those players were the then captain Salman Butt and opening bowlers Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Amir.

All three players received lengthy bans and prison sentences. If the hope was that this would act as a deterrent then it was a forlorn one as these current fixing allegations are from events that took place after 2010.

<b>Big Three Takeover – 2014</b>

Word spread that a meeting was taking place in Dubai, but those that follow the ICC closely had no idea why it was taking place. Those journalists that asked the question as to why this was happening were met with stony silence.

Then a friendly person in the know delivered a document into the inboxes of several cricket writers that outlined a detailed plan to change cricket forever. The 'Big 3' boards of India, England and Australia had decided that the only way forward for the game was for them to take charge.

The motivations for this further centralisation of power appeared to be that it was better having the Indian board inside the tent pissing out than outside pissing in and getting everybody wet.

If the intention of the leaker was to stop this plan they were not successful. It happened anyway. Some concessions were made along the way to appease the little guys, but they got their way.

<b>India TV sting – 2012</b>

Before the most recent, and much higher profile, fixing allegations at the IPL there came this sting by tabloid TV station India TV. They managed to get several players and a few umpires caught on camera offering to alter results for cash.

All those that were caught were small fry compared with the bigger names that would come to light in 2012, but it was still the work of a TV station that brought those corrupt individuals to light.

During the 2013 season Indian Test player Shanthakumaran Sreesanth was one of the much bigger names that were caught up in another spot fixing scandal. This time the information was gathered by the Delhi and Mumbai police rather than a TV station. Again the authorities needed a hand to punish the wrong doers.

<b>Tehelka TV sting – 2000</b>

All the way back in 2000 in the wake of the Hansie Cronje revelations Indian TV channel Tehelka managed to persuade Indian bowler Manoj Prabhakar to record conversations with a number of well known players and administrators.

These tapes formed the basis of an enquiry by Central Bureau of Investigation. At the end of that investigation Mohammad Azharuddin, Ajay Jadeja and Ajay Sharma indicted for match fixing.

The documentary entitled Fallen Heroes: The Betrayal of a Nation caused shock waves across India and ended many people's naivety as far as corruption in cricket is concerned.

<b>Adelaide leak – 1933</b>

A disclosure from a different time. Back on the bodyline tour of 1932/33 there was a leak. Something that was unprecedented at the time. Australian captain Bill Woodfull was struck in the chest by a delivery from England quick Harold Larwood.

Woodfull was clearly shaken and was out just a few short balls later. When Pelham Warner, the manager of the England touring side, went to the home team's dressing room to enquire after the health of the Aussie captain he was given short shrift.

Woodfull was disgusted by the tactics that the England side were using, bowling bouncer after bouncer at the opposing team's batsmen. This falling out made into the papers and all sides involved were furious at the leak.

Many suspected that Jack Fingleton was the source of the leak. As well as being a member of the Australian side he was also a journalist. Although the finger of suspicion fell on him he always denied any involvement.

<b>Peter Miller</b>

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