Match fixing is a crime, no doubt about it and there need to be criminal repercussions for those found guilty.
Growing up as a cricket fan in the late 1990s I have always been aware of match fixing.
There was always a question mark over New Zealand’s victories over subcontinent teams after which most Kiwis would ask of the opposition, “I wonder how much they got paid for that?”
Now the reality is that match fixing is not limited to just a select few from the subcontinent and South Africa, but is occurring all over the world including, allegedly, by New Zealand’s Black Caps.
Match fixing can be something as simple as giving a bookie a tip about the pitch conditions to full blown trying your best to play badly.
One could argue that over the past five or six years this could partially explain why the ‘Caps’ have performed so abysmally.
However this is not the case with this particularly trio named as the alleged match-fixers Lou Vincent, Daryl Tuffey and the great all-rounder Chris Cairns come from an era before that when the Kiwis were more than competitive.
In fact you could argue they came from a period in which New Zealand had its most successful period over the late 90s and early 2000s since the halcyon days of the 1980s.
Although one would be extremely naïve to think that no New Zealanders are cheaters, it does come as a surprise that some may resort to this.
Chris Cairns is one of New Zealand’s greatest cricketers and barring injury may have become an all-time great of the game.
Of course he has faced these sorts of accusations before and defended them successfully in a court of law.
Lou Vincent on the other hand left the game in New Zealand after suffering from depression and Daryl Tuffey seemed to fall of the map.
It will be interesting to read further in the coming days about these accusations.
Whether they are match fixing or spot fixing, how much money was involved and which games were affected.
On the topic of spot fixing I do remember watching a one-day international between New Zealand and Australia in 2005 and thinking what I was seeing was very dubious.
As the old saying goes, innocent until proven guilty. Until these claims are backed up by sufficient evidence and we give them their day in court, lets cut them some slack.
If these accusations are in fact the truth then cricket really needs to make a stand and make sure fraud charges are laid against match fixers and jail terms are served.
Otherwise those of us who grew up loving cricket will continue to switch off because these days we don’t know what we are viewing is reality or in fact fantasy.