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Extra ! Extra ! (or , Get Your Fix Of The Taking News)

by Bhaskar Khaund

From Randiv who paid for it to Aamer/Asif who received from it , tis No Ball season alright.
Pak bowlers and indiscipline have always gone hand in glove. It comes with the talent territory and is part of what makes them such a compelling watch. The difference is that while earlier they were giving away a few extras with their no balls , they are now taking away a few extras with their no balls.
Taking a cue from my neighbour Charlie who thought his car servicing agent spoke not English but dollars , perhaps the time has now come to count extras not in runs but in money.
(Charlie also thought aloud that if there was a price to pay for early success going to a young head , it was not Mhd Aamer doing the paying but his bookie. A bit of a wag is our Charlie - as you may discover if you visit Strawberry Fields Occasionally )
Anyway , yet another can of worms has been pried open on the type of subcon cricket that plays so much more by the bookie than the book. The questions are now flying out thick and fast - and by fast i mean faster than a Pak batting collapse.
Some of theose questions are valid :
Will Salman's butt be on the line ? Will he have to exit the captaincy or is that spot fixed ? Why did Afridi decide to play no ball with it ? What are the odds that he knew ? Who are the other , currently unnamed players to also overstep the line ? Who else could find themselves in a spot ? Was the incriminating video shot on the spot ? And was the camera fixed there or did it pan out to capture other instances as well ? Were the bets confined to no balls only ? How wide will be the berth given to the accused ? Did no player who was approached say bye to the offer ?
Others are vapid at best and ridiculously irrelevant at worst :
Why does YK have a smile fixed on his face ? Why doesn't MoYo fix the curls on his ? What were bowlers in the past using to tamper with the ball - Quickfix ? Is Azhar Ali really Mazhar Ali ? And who was Azhar Mahmood ? Is there a Mazhar Mahmood ?
Subcontinent cricket in general and Pak cricket in particular seems fixated with scandal. Arre baba , so many questions and so many problems all the time , na ! And none that look like they could be fixed anytime soon. PCB could try taking a gamble with a really out-of-the-box innovative approach - but I wouldn't bet on it .

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