Michael Atherton Remains Skeptical About Recent Fixing Scandal Revealed by Al-Jazeera

Published - 29 May 2018, 07:24 AM | Updated - 10 Jan 2019, 12:35 AM

Michael Atherton
Credits: Getty Images.

The game of cricket was brought into disrepute yet again after a giant news channel Al-Jazeera’s aired its documentary ‘Cricket’s Match Fixers’ on Sunday (May 27), which brought into light an alleged pitch doctoring incidents in Test matches at Galle.

Former England opener and cricket expert, Michael Atherton, however, thought it was unlikely that highly paid professionals from India will be involved. He somewhat felt in the same way for Australia. Moreover, he reiterated his own countrymen would not indulge in such activities.

Atherton believes that there is too much to lose for players if being caught. The matches between India-Australia at Ranchi, India-England at Chennai were laid under the scanner.

The match between India and England, which the hosts won, is remembered for KL Rahul’s 199 and Karun Nair’s 303*. Credits: HT.

According to the fixers, three players from England and two from Australia. Interestingly, they were involved in the said betting scandal, which shocked the world.

The game, especially around the fringes and where there are enormous discrepancies in earning potential, is vulnerable. But highly paid international players in very visible, high-profile matches? In this case, I remain highly sceptical,” Atherton wrote in his column for The Times.

The centrally contracted players at England and Wales Cricket Board, (ECB) Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), and Cricket Australia (CA), are one of the richest cricketers in the world.

Looking at the cases of Hansie Cronje, Salman Butt, and Mohammad Amir, Atherton believes that players wouldn’t dare to alter the result of matches.

Photo Credit: BCCI.

“strongThe players are paid too well (especially those from India, England and Australia). They have too much to lose/strong,” Michael Atherton added.

During the documentary, Al Jazeera refused to name any players involved in spot-fixing. However, the channel assured that they are willing to cooperate with the evidence owing to the concerned authorities.

Michael Atherton of England. Credits: Web.

Here’s the documentary:

There is nothing we have seen that would make us doubt any of our players in any way whatsoever,ECB chief executive Tom Harrison stated.

Also, CA Chief James Sutherland voiced his opinion regarding the booming issue in world cricket at the moment.

Together with the ICC, we are aware of the investigation by Al Jazeera into alleged corruption in cricket,” quoted CA, CEO, James Sutherland.


Neither the ICC nor Cricket Australia is aware of any credible evidence linking Australian players to corruption in the game,” concluded Cricket Australia’s lynchpin.


India National Cricket Team