Is dear old county cricket fixed? the Telegraph grew semi-hysterical on the subject yesterday amid speculation elsewhere that the story might be a plant to let the world know that the knobblers are around.
They are drawing a distinction here between spot fixing [player deliberately bowls a wide etc] and match fixing [results are manufactured], with an eye on the fact that around 30 domestic T20 matches will be broadcast 'overseas' [you know, where the scary men live].
Yet a great truth remains unspoken. The only way any kind of fixing can ever really be proven is if those involved come forward. That is a fact too dangerous for the corruption units to admit out loud, but they surely know it.
The briefest of glances at a random day's cricket proves the point. Yesterday for example, where the following happened:
Andre Nel made 96 for Surrey.
His last wicket partnership with Jade Dernbach took Surrey from 268-9 to 386 all out.
Leicester, having made 291 in their first innings, were dismissed for 71 in their second.
That set Glamorgan 198 to win, 33 more than they'd made in their first innings. They got them for the loss of no wickets.
Durham, county champions, lost by an innings and four runs to Kent at home in just over a day.
All of these things are odd, or at least unpredictable. But even Andre Nel is likely to make runs once in his life - that day was yesterday. These are normal variations on a theme. Yet they are all irregularities, outside of the usual. They're why you'll always need a confession to be sure.
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