At left: Cricketer Mohammad Amir, “the most promising 18-year-old bowler most of us have ever seen.” He’s the youngest player ever to take 50 wickets in test matches. Think Steven Strasburg, but younger, better, more successful, and sans Tommy John surgery.
Unfortunately, he may never bowl again. Amir and two veteran members of the Pakistani cricket team (captain Salman Butt and bowler Mohammad Asif) are being investigated in a spot-fixing scandal. In a nutshell:
News channels across the country were keenly following the developments, and replaying the News of the World footage of a man identified as Mazhar Majeed taking Â£150,000 in cash in return for predicting when three “no balls” would come in the ongoing fourth and final Test against England at Lord’s. Two Pakistani bowlers, Amir and Mohammad Asif, delivered the no-balls as predicted, on Thursday and Friday respectively. Majeed was arrested by British police last night and remains in custody.
This is huge news for the second most popular sport in the world. Of course, you won’t hear a peep from outlets in the United States. Think there’s a big disconnect between the popularity of soccer in the US versus abroad? Well, it’s much wider for cricket.
Now, of course, ESPN (and the like) shouldn’t rush out to cover the scandal. But… it’s a major issue in the sporting world. You’d think that someone would at least mention what’s going on. Sportscenter does need to fill roughly 20 hours of airtime per day.
If you are interested, Rob Smyth writes an excellent “what does it all mean” column in The Guardian.