- That was how freelance cricket writer Richard DJ Edwards reported on the denouement of the cricket spot-fixing trial involving Pakistan players Salman Butt, Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Amir, and Butt’s agent Mazhar Majeed.
The cricket commentariat quickly went into overdrive on Twitter. The BBC’s Jonathan Agnew had this to say:
- Guardian sports writer Barney Ronay hurled down a hat-trick of thoughtful tweets on that subject, using the notorious ‘rebel’ England tour of 1990 to South Africa to provide some context.
- So what happens next? Former England cricket captain Michael Vaughan hopes the International Cricket Council will be spurred into action.
- He wasn’t alone in hoping that.
- Vaughan himself (along with many others) was more than a tad sceptical about the likelihood of that happening.
- One reason for the scepticism is the ICC itself, which had done nothing to expose the scam in the first place. That honour fell to the News of the World and in particular investigative reporter Mazhar Mahmood – proof that, on a good day, the News International tabloid broke serious public interest stories. Sometimes the ends do justify the means.
- While the ‘fake sheikh’ got the plaudits, Amir got most of the sympathy going, mainly because of his age and humble background.
- Michael Holding certainly felt sorry for him when suspicions were first aroused. This is a clip of the great West Indian fast bowler talking with David Gower and Nasser Hussein. It reveals a softer side of a man once known as ‘whispering death’.