The world does not really require any more comment on spot fixing, so relax - there will be none here. But there is one small element of the story that is worth mentioning.
On 2 and 9 May 2010, the News Of The World, the paper that ran Sunday's allegations, exposed John Higgins, a champion snooker player, as a match-fixer too. The stories were accompanied by a video, not dissimilar to Sunday's, that showed Higgins and his manager agreeing to fix the outcome of a snooker match. Higgins was suspended by the WPBSA, snooker's governing body. Snooker is another sport that has been haunted by fixing, and its existence as a revenue-generating TV machine is under far greater threat than cricket's.
Yet the Higgins case, superficially a damning one, has not yet stood up to examination. An investigation led by the website Sporting Intelligence raised some serious questions about the veracity of the video and the story itself. Higgins will face a disciplinary hearing in September, and he maintains his innocence.
His case is unconnected to the Pakistan one, and yet there is a gap between the requirements of a newspaper story and a proven case of spot-fixing in cricket. The News Of The World is concerned with selling newspapers, not helping cricket solve its problems. Another story is expected next Sunday, perhaps concerning the Australia-Pakistan Test in Sydney last winter.
The evidence seems far firmer with regard to Pakistan than it does with Higgins, and perhaps it is. But it might be worth not chucking any more tomatoes at donkeys until it's been properly interrogated.
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