I am amused to see that match fixing has become a crime and being a match fixer, a stigma for life . In good old days, match fixing was considered a valuable social service and fixers were held in high esteem by all especially those anxious and worried parents who were on the look out for a ‘suitable match ‘ for their sons and daughters before it was too late. In the social context, the match fixer of either gender was a go between , credited with uniting two families through matrimony. I am instantly reminded of Shankari tai , the match fixer in the daily soap “Yeh Rishta Kya Kehlata hai “- and what a match he finds for Akshara ! In real life also the services of these fixers are sought and availed by people subscribing to the conventional way of life , who do not believe in other options available these days.
Coming to the Cricket match fixers, be it some of the players or the managers or the sponsors or the much maligned speculators aka ‘satorias’ or the satte baaz , they have done irreparable harm and disservice to the game . It is disgusting to see players playing to lose rather than win in lieu of some wads of currency notes or maybe some other gratification. This reminds me of the old Bollywood song – chandi ke chand tukdo ke liye, iman ko becha jata hai…… – sung beautifully by Hemant Kumar . These game changers take millions of spectators for a ride, who throng the Cricket stadium after purchasing costly tickets or who remain glued to the idiot box , making virtual idiots of themselves, watching , who knows , may be a fixed match ! Cricket played in this manner is no longer a game of glorious uncertainties but ignominious ‘ fixties’.
George Bernard Shaw is proved half right !