I can understand why multi billionaires get involved in dodgy business deals. I cant understand why sportsmen of international calibre would do the same thing. One could provide an answer by saying that greed took over players’ ethical mind and thats why they succumbed for money and committed illegal acts.
It could mean that sportsmen are underpaid in comparison to their popularity and so they get motivated to negotiate for quick bucks. Not all sportsmen are corrupt. In reality, its only a few bad apples.
Could it then mean that sports itself is a big business and there is lot of money to be made only if one had the right connections. Truth may lie somewhere in between these two extremes. Cricket players dont have a choice but to take their sports as a profession. Sports and media have combined hands to offer entertainment to millions around the world making this industry a very lucrative one worth billions of dollars.
Tendulakar, for instance, is a big franchise in India. His popularity touches at least a billion people from the highest social orders to the lowest levels. His personal brand is worth in billions of dollars. In Bangladesh Sakib al-Hassan is a house hold name with a reach of 160 million people. Imran Khan, former captain of Pakistan cricket team, is a national hero and a popular politician thanks to his credibility as an honest sportsman who made Pakistan champions.
I believe that sports is loosing the spirit of fair play because of excessive media and business involvement in it. For millions of viewers it may be only a game but for those who are in the “business” of sports entertainment its worth much more.
Revenues and profits from sporting tournaments are just as serious as running a bank or an insurance company. They make money for the shareholders, who invest in companies which creates jobs for people. This could have been the simple logic, which might have affected Butt, Asif and Amer to commit criminal offence of match-fixing. They forgot something, people still want to see sports as it should be seen.