Match fixing incidents have spoiled the face of the "gentleman's game" many times since the advent of the 20th century. Most of the culprits have faced severe consequences and never been involved with cricket while some rare few like Mohammad Amir have made successful comebacks after serving time off.
It has become so commonplace that the crowd is posed with a question in their minds if the match is "fixed" for every close finish. Not without reason, though. With a shady past and betting, despite being illegal, quite a routine, it is unlikely "match fixing" will die anytime soon.
The ICC has been fairly strict to the offenders but that has not stopped players from bending the laws. The bookmakers approach players to throw matches or simulate scenarios in real matches so that bookies earn lots of money. We could easily conclude that betting has always fueled match fixing or spot fixing.
Betting, in particular, has become such a well-oiled engine that it leaves no trails. In spite of getting ample evidence in the form of telephonic conversations or video tapes that link players with bookies, no action was taken by BCCI.
The corruption in the IPL is widely known and the big scam that erupted came as little surprise. Let us take a look at some of the terrible match fixing incidents that shocked the cricketing fraternity.
#1 The Hansie Gate
The biggest match-fixing scandal in the history of cricket tore apart cricket fans in two nations – India and South Africa. Shocking revelations by the Indian police in 2000 claimed close to five players from either side were involved with bookies to fix a match in the bilateral series between the two sides.
The heartbreaking fact was that captains of both sides were the prime culprits – Mohammad Azharuddin and Hansie Cronje. Azharuddin was guilty of not only being in touch with bookies but also for bringing in other players.
The other players allegedly involved from South Africa were Henry Williams, Nicky Boje and Herschelle Gibbs – who after initially accepting to go along with the plan, ultimately changed his mind and went on to score a blistering 74. Azhar had involved other Indian players like Ajay Jadeja and Manoj Prabhakar.
Cronje denied all allegations but Indian Police had audio tapes connecting Cronje to bookie, Sanjay Chawla. Cronje admitted after four days of rigorous questioning that he was not "entirely honest" resulting in a life ban. Gibbs sealed Cronje's fate when he admitted that his captain had asked him to score less than 20 in return for $15,000.
Cronje later said Azhar had introduced him to the bookie, directing investigations the former Indian captain’s way. Azhar, during CBI investigations, admitted to having fixed three games – against South Africa in 1996, Sri Lanka in 1997 and Pakistan in 1999 with the help of his teammates, Jadeja and Nayan Mongia.
Mongia was later found not guilty but Azhar and Jadeja were banned for life while Williams and Gibbs were banned for six months. Cronje, who was also given a life ban, died in a plane crash in 2002.