A number of Pakistani cricketers have been accused of match fixing following the fourth test in England. Some have even called for them to be charged with treason.

It appears that they may have accepted money to bowl no-balls at specific points in the game. If I am right, the match and the series were beyond redemption by this stage (Pakistan lost by an innings).

Clearly what they did was unethical, but is “match fixing” the right term for what they did? Their actions had no bearing on the outcome of the game - and would have been unlikely to have had an effect on the outcome on any test match they had happened in. (And calling for treason charges is just a joke)

How would you characterise their actions?


If you consider a match as only the final outcome, then the term does not exactly apply. But if you consider a match to include all of the details and stats of the match, then “match fixing” is appropriate. I am more comfortable with the second definition although I admit that I had the same thought as you when I first heard the news.

Also, there is a huge amount of side-betting on these types of details. Fixing a detail can allow a bookmaker to rake in a lot of money and it is easier pill for the cheating players to swallow. It is further complicated by the fact that both India and Pakistan outlaw gambling so there is no visibility into who is betting on what.

It sounds more analogous to points shaving than match fixing to me.

The British press is referring to it as spot fixing not match fixing. Players (notably South African) have been implicated in match fixing before, but that isn’t the charge now.

What strikes me as incredible is the stupidity of the bookies - if you start seeing large bets on something like a particular delivery being a no ball you have to smell a rat.