IT appears to be the most blatant example of match-fixing in cricket history.
The International Cricket Council’s Anti-Corruption Unit is investigating a suspicious match from a private league in the UAE, in which players were dismissed with alarming — and at times, comical — ease.
According to Cricinfo, the tournament — the All-Time Ajman league — was called off on its second day after authorities “refused to allow them to continue using the ground”.
The Dubai Star were chasing a modest target of 136 against the Sharjah Warriors, but could only muster 46 as batsmen fell in increasingly farcical fashion — with the majority dismissed either by run-out or stumping.
Batsman would charge the bowler, and not put in any attempt to return to the crease. Even the fumbling wicketkeeper couldn’t mess up these stumping chances.
The running between the wickets would make park cricketers shield their eyes — with suicidal attempts resulting in embarrassing run-outs.
A YouTube video of the carnage was uploaded shortly afterwards, describing it as “one of the most pitiful displays of batting, running between wickets, fielding and wicketkeeping of all time.”
“If we’re honest, the only way we can explain it is if there was a briefcase (or several) full of cash and some suspicious betting patterns involved,” read the description in the video.
The embarrassing nature of the dismissals drew widespread condemnation online, with former England captain Michael Vaughan weighing in.
The match is currently under investigation.
“There is currently an ICC Anti-Corruption Unit investigation underway in relation to the Ajman All Stars League held recently in Ajman, UAE,” Alex Marshall, the ICC general manager, Anti-Corruption, said in a statement.
“The ICC ACU works to uphold integrity in cricket, and in keeping with that role we are talking to players and officials and will not make any further comment at this time.”