SA v Pakistan
Mickey's shocking revelation
Mickey Arthur (Gallo Images)
Abu Dhabi – The South African cricket team had a strong suspicion that there was match-fixing involved in a decisive one-day international against Pakistan three years ago.
That is one of the shock revelations that former Proteas coach Mickey Arthur will make in his biography, Taking The Mickey
, which will be released at the end of next month.
South Africa and Pakistan take on one another in the first of five one-day matches in the Sheikh Zayed Stadium.
Three of Pakistan’s leading players were suspended a few months ago for their alleged involvement in match-fixing.
Salman Butt, Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Amir were suspended after a British tabloid revealed that the three had agreed with a bookmaker to deliberately bowl no-balls in the final Test against England at Lord’s.
The visitors lost the match by an innings and 225 runs.
The Proteas, under Arthur, won the last one-day series between the teams in 2007 in dramatic fashion. They took the series 3-2 after a spectacular collapse in the Pakistan innings in the decisive match in Lahore.
“There was a strong suspicion of match-fixing and it took some of the gloss off the series win,” Arthur told Sport24 this week.
“We did not have any proof, but when you have been involved in the game long enough, you know when something is not right. How else do you explain a batting side needing only 40 runs with 7 wickets in hand, and then losing?”
Pakistan were well on their way to victory on 149/2 after the Proteas only managed 233/9 in their 50 overs.
However, the home side lost its last 8 wickets for just 70 runs, which meant that the South Africans only won by 14 runs.
Arthur, who is the most successful cricket coach in the country’s history, was succeeded by Corrie van Zyl in January, and has been coaching the star-studded Western Australian team in Perth since April this year.
“I’m very impressed with the direction the team has taken under Corrie and especially the comfort with which youngsters such as Colin Ingram, David Miller and Rusty Theron have been able to find their feet at a high level,” he said.
However, the team still has much to prove ahead of next year’s World Cup on the sub-continent.
“Pakistan are at an absolute low and I can’t see us having any trouble beating them,” said Arthur.
“Our real test will come when we play against India at home at the end of the year.”
India are the world’s leading Test side.