Now that the full details of Bob Woolmer’s brutal murder have been made public, Alan Donald wants the ICC to stop the world cup. Whilst I would strongly disagree, I do understand his point of view; the tournament is tainted, and always will be, whoever wins it will have done so under the shadow of a scandal that threatens the very foundations of the game. Right at a time when the game is probably more popular than it has ever been before, questions are being asked and need to be answered. The very validity of tournaments such as the world cup is susceptible if matches are being fixed.
Some of this language may sound like sour grapes, bearing in mind England may yet not make the Super 8s and if they do will be at a severe disadvantage, but I’d be saying the same even if I were dreaming and England were favourites to win (and what a dream that would be). Even ignoring the match fixing for a moment, what kind of people stoop to such extraordinary depths over what is supposed to be a game? Of course cricket isn’t alone in this regard, and one can cite numerous cases of football fans being assaulted and even murdered, but football is thought of as a game of hooligans and thugs anyway. Cricket has long enjoyed a reputation as a respectable sport, the sport of the sophisticate, but actions such as those that lead to Woolmer’s death make that a untenable position to hold any longer.