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Stop 'fancy fixing', Latif tells ICC
June 29, 2003 23:07 IST
Pakistan cricket captain and the original whistle blower on match-fixing, Rashid Latif, has appealed to the International Cricket Council to remove the 15-over fielding restrictions in one-day games in order to curb "fancy fixing".
In a dramatic letter to the International Cricket Council, released on the Wisden Cricinfo web site, Latif said the fielding restrictions, which bars a team from having more than two fielders outside the 30-yard circle in the first 15 overs, encourages betting.
He said even though "the soul of the game is not really threatened by match-fixing" at present, "we have certain loopholes within the format and the laws of matches, which have resulted in the birth of something that I would call 'Fancy Fixing'".
Claiming that the restrictions "opened a window of opportunity for betting," Latif suggested that a rule to have at least four players and the bowler in the 30-yard circle for the entire 50 overs would be a better option.
"One can bet on teams scoring over six runs an over, but what if a team with hard-hitting strokeplayers makes around 50 to 60 runs during these overs. The top-order batsmen are usually aware of such fancy bets. They have an opportunity to make good money and are even approached by bookies to accomplish such a task," Latif said.
Latif, who first blew the lid on the match-fixing scandal, drew a parallel in Test matches too and said the teams should be penalised for not completing 30 overs in one session.
"An example of "fancy fixing" in Test cricket is to bet on scores during different sessions. For instance, a bet could be on the number of runs or the number of overs bowled in the two hours before lunch," he said, noting that at present, there was not fine on teams for not bowling 30 overs in a session. The fine is imposed only if a team does not complete 90 overs in an entire day.
"Since 'Fancy Fixing' has emerged because of the rules and regulations of cricket matches, only the ICC can bring about necessary changes," Latif said.
"It is my humble request to the ICC to take immediate practical steps. One of them is to please remove the 15-overs restriction law from one-day cricket."
Latif also suggested the creation of a special committee of "recently retired captains" to look into the issue of match-fixing.
"The idea is to look closely at all the restrictive laws and rules in cricket, in order to identify loopholes, which are enhancing the industry of 'Fancy Fixing'," he said.
"This special standing committee should keep on scrutinising and monitoring the affect of new and old rules on match-fixing - or any kind of fixing, for that matter."