When Illegal Bookmakers Got Cricket Players into Trouble

Corruption is something that cricket fans have heard a lot of since Mohammad Azharuddin and Hanse Cronje were involved in one of the sport’s biggest match-fixing sagas in 2000. Since then, a number of other top profile cricketers have found themselves banned from the game they love due to spot-fixing, match-fixing, and failing to report approaches from illegal bookmakers to the authorities. Shakib Al Hasan was the latest star to be handed a suspension. We will now look at some other cases where high-profile cricketers have landed in trouble because of Indian bookmakers.

Shane Warne and Mark Waugh in 1994

Australia were touring Sri Lanka in 1994 when Warne and Waugh were approached by illegal bookmakers and offered cash in return for inside information about team selection and match conditions. The Australian Cricket Board eventually found out about this, but they did not ban their players. Instead, both players received a fine reported to be somewhere in the regions of $2,500 to $15,000. They got off pretty lightly if you ask us.

Danish Kaneria’s Encounter with an Indian Bookmaker

The Pakistan leg-spinner admitted that he took part in spot-fixing in 2018 after having denied the allegations against him for years. He came clean and named Anu Bhat as the bookmaker that had approached him and told him to concede more than 12 runs in the first over of a county game that he was playing for Essex.

His teammate Mervyn Westfield had been jailed for four months in 2012 for his part in the scandal, but Kaneria was released without charge. Despite this, the England and Wales Cricket Board felt he was guilty and banned him from playing cricket for life. He did try to appeal the ban, but it was rejected.

Mohammad Ashraful Was Also Approached by an Indian Bookmaker

In 2013, Bangladesh’s Mohammad Ashraful admitted that he had done a bit of match fixing in the Bangladesh Premier League. Ashraful was playing for the Dhaka Gladiators at the time and an Indian bookmaker paid him nearly $13,000 to lose a match against the Chittagong Kings. He also supposedly fixed another match ten days later.

The following year, the Bangladesh Cricket Board banned him from the sport for eight years but decreased it to five years (two suspended). In 2016, he was allowed to play domestic cricket again, and in 2018 they allowed him to return to the international side.

Indian Premier League Match Fixing

In the sixth season of the Indian Premier League, Ajit Chandila, S. Sreesanth, and Ankeet Chavan were all charged by the Delhi police for being involved in some spot-fixing. Twenty-three other people, including bookies, co-owners, and actors were also investigated for taking part in illegal activities.

A lack of solid evidence and some poor police work led to the three players being released without charge. However, the Board of Control for Cricket in India carried out their own investigation and decided to ban all three players from playing cricket for life.