Not Quite Cricket : The Explosive Story of How Bookmakers Influence the Game Today. This new and revised edition of Not Quite Cricket brings the shocking story of betting scams and match fixing in international cricket up to the present and indicates how strong the bookie cricketer ties may be now more than ever.
On 17 March 2007 the much fancied Pakistan team crashed out of the cricket World Cup after a surprise defeat to minnows Ireland. Even as disappointed fans reacted with anger and dismay rumour mills began working overtime insinuating the involvement of bookmakers in the unexpected result and hinting at match fixing. Speculation reached a fever pitch when the day after Pakistan coach Bob Woolmer was found dead in his hotel room. It was alleged that the hand of the subcontinental betting mafia was behind the attack on Woolmer and pointed out that billions of dollars may be at stake when a match is ‘thrown’.
The recent episode is only the latest in a string of incidents involving the world’s top cricketers. In recent years the Indian subcontinent has emerged as perhaps the most lucrative arena in which world cricket is played not least because of the enormous sums wagered on the outcome of every match. Fired by a chance encounter with a bookie in the Caribbean top Indian cricket writer Pradeep Magazine set himself the task of finding out exactly how the shadowy world of betting and match fixing works. He interviewed players journalists cricketing officials and even posed as an informer for a bookmaker for a while. What emerged in the course of his inquiry was a story of divided loyalties and carefully camouflaged half truths of players who actively participated in match fixing and others who colluded with them. He found that the money trail snakes its way into every part of the game in the subcontinent and from there to the rest of the world.