World Cup is fixed!

Deepak Nagpal

India will beat Australia in the Cricket World Cup quarter-final at Ahmedabad on Thursday; then race on to meet Pakistan in the semi-final at Mohali next Tuesday (which it can’t afford to lose); before eventually meeting South Africa/Sri Lanka in the final on April 02 at Mumbai.

Nope, this is not me saying all this... this is the remaining World Cup schedule that is there on everyone’s lips.

In this cricket-crazy nation, anyone you speak to will say India “should” win the World Cup. And there are some who say India “will” win the World Cup, no matter how tough the opponents are in the quarterfinal, semis and the final. Because ICC, cricket’s governing body, can’t risk a non-India final, for huge money is at stake.

And those in the betting industry too have stamped the approval on India emerging out as the champions at the Wankhede stadium. The punters have already made a killing from the tied India-England match.

So, the big question arises: Is the World Cup really fixed, as is being made out to be (by some).

It is hard to believe cricket’s governing body, 14 cricket playing nations, including India, and everyone else would collude to “fix” the World Cup (the game’s grandest event) for money.

What about ICC’s fight against corruption? What about the Pak trio facing trial for spot-fixing? Is the audience fool enough not to get a whiff of what’s going on? Are those fixing the World Cup so courageous and flawless that they believe would fix the World Cup and no one would know. I don’t think so.

It would be going too far to say the World Cup is fixed. Shane Warne had created flutters by successfully predicting the result of the tied India-England game. And that provided fuel to many to claim the matches were fixed.

But there has just been one tie match so far, with other games seemed to have played with spirit in earnest honesty.

Ireland’s over 300-run successful chase against England, but failure to beat Bangladesh too led to speculations as to whether the hosts were given a “better deal”.

Pakistan’s finish at the top of Group A, ahead of much stronger Sri Lanka and Australia, became a matter of debate too. I remember my colleagues shouting “fixing, fixing...” after Kamran Akmal dropped three sitters against New Zealand behind the wicket.

Pakistan, in the end, did win the match but Kamran’s “performance” did bring back to memories the spot-fixing saga.

But, as it is said, if there’s suspicion in your eyes and mind, you will suspect everything on this planet.

So, to believe the World Cup is fixed and that India will win the match against Australia is not a fair viewpoint. You never know there might be an upset in store.

Keep watching and enjoy the game! And leave it to anti-corruption officials to find out if the World Cup is fixed.

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