Listening to the chatter on social media on the spot-fixing controversy that has just erupted in the IPL, it makes sense to actually make people understand what the term really means. This post breaks it into what can easily explain the concept.
So S. Sreesanth, Ankeet Chavan and Ajit Chandila have been arrested on charges of spot fixing. Poor Sree, am sure that was the only way he could have looked forward to making quick bucks considering his extremely awry performance on the ground off late. Feel pity though for the other two as they fall prey to this evil at a stage where they could probably never come back to the game. Criminal activity though and has to be punished.
So what exactly is spot fixing? A few months back Pakistan bowlers Mohd Aamer, Mohd Asif and batsman Salman Butt were embroiled into something similar and we all know what has happened to them. They actually were caught on camera accepting money to bowl no-balls. The result of the match though was not a bet. Spot-fixing thus is not something that directly impacts the result of the game.
In his famous book “Gambler, Bookie, Fixer, Spy, a journey into cricket’s underworld”, author Ed Hawkins clearly demarcates between Spot and Match fixing. He says while we all know what match-fixing is, spot fixing is generally not fixing the result of the game but fixing “brackets” of the game.
This kind of bracket fixing is done for a period of overs, say 5 for example in which a bettor can bet on the number of runs that will be scored, number of wickets that will fall and so on and so forth. This bracket is a flexible one and changes with the number of runs scored in one over and the next over and then on. So basically if many bettors put a lot of money on a certain result in a bracket and the bookies fix-up the players to do the opposite (spot-fixing pays are pretty less), makes tremendous financial sense, doesn’t it.
Plus, with the kind of power hitting and fall of wickets that happen during a T20 game, something of this sort does not even raise eyebrows of the franchise owners, spectators and even the Police. With little loyalty quotient in a franchise model, the prospect of someone falling prey further increases.
Though the investigating bodies have done a fantastic job in nabbing the culprits pretty fast, it will still be better if someone can devise a method to fullstop these things. Utopia though is only a distant dream. IPL is anyways shrouded with hundreds of controversies, this does not help any bit to the brand value.