Malik still caught in a match fixing web

Whatever his supporters may think, Salim Malik will forever be linked, as has been Hansie Cronjé, to the nefarious web spun by the game's match fixers.

While a court in Lahore last week may have lifted his life ban, imposed by the Pakistan Cricket Board after the Mohammad Qayyym Report on such malpractices in 2000, there are still questions to be asked and answered of the former Pakistan captain about the charges.

Apart from the Shane Warne and Mark Waugh bribes, Malik's name emerged as well during the King Commission probe in Cape Town mid-2000. This public commission had been established by the South African Government to probe Cronjé's unprofessional conduct when the South African admitted to conniving with Indian bookmakers over a period of time from around early1995.

Also stirring the cauldron that involved such iniquitous greedy scum is another South African, self-confessed exhibitionist Marlon Aronstam. He became involved with Cronjé in the infamous rain-affected Centurion Test in January 2000.

Snap judgements of events and their follow up all too often obscure the facts. In this respect it is all too easy to suggest that from the moment they were appointed captains, Malik and Cronjé were easy targets for Indian bookmakers.

Bookmakers and their pimps were always looking for senior players or those who were easy to access for inside information. Here they used Malik's possible early influence to interest South Africa's captain.

Cronjé admitted to a feeling of embarrassment when asked by Malik had 'John' called with an offer made on January 10, 1995 during the first leg of the Mandela Cup final at Newlands. This emerged at what were the very public King Commission hearings that were televised as well as broadcast on radio: all very transparent. Nothing like this has been held before.

Of course, we only have Cronjé's word that it was Malik who posed the question if Sanjay Chawla, aka 'John' had called with an offer. And as thieves who fall out normally do, Malik will deny that he talked to Cronjé about such a match-fixing episode. Denial by the glib- tongued in such circumstances is the easiest form of fraudulent behaviour.

all courtesy: cricketnext