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The Great Betrayal

Introduction----Brief background.

My total involvement in the game.

Disclosure of match-fixing. 

 conclusion---The great fraud /betrayal perpetrated on the audience

Hurrah! I shouted jumping with joy, as Ganguly scored the winning run in the first one-day international match played at Delhi, between South Africa and India. It. had indeed been quite some time. since India had scored a victory over South Africa. 

The three consecutive test matches which were lost had dampened my cricketing spirit. This was indeed a moment of celebration and me along with my friends went on a celebrating spree, shouting, singing and bursting crackers late into the night. 

The game of cricket completely mesmerizes me, it is indeed a "Game of chance". In one moment, you are right on top of the game with a near-certain win, while in the next you are down in the dumps. This is what appeals to me and makes my friends call me a `cricketing maniac'. 

It is at its height during any test or one-day series, when I prefer to stick to the T.V. watching each movement of the ball with great enthusiasm. 

This at times rubs on other members of the family, who join me in my exclamation of the century well made, or a shout of disgruntled on a foolish dismissal. These are the days when I do nothing but, 'eat, sleep and dream cricket'. The win in the first one-day test was indeed rejuvenating, this was followed by consecutive wins in the second and the third test under more palpitating conditions. Each ball or a stroke stopping many a heartbeat. 

It was, in fact, a clean sweep. We had won all the three one day test, in sharp contrast to our dismal performance in the test series against the same side. Indeed cricket was gentlemen's game of chance and once again India had emerged right on top of the game. 

There followed a lot of 'backslapping and applause.. While we celebrated the return of the champions. One day a small news clipping on the front page caught my attention "Cronje's link with Indian bookies'. I read it in utter disbelieve, there were allegations against Cronje. the South African captain. for his role in fixing matches through Indian bookies, My immediate reaction was, dismissing it as a humbug created by media. 

This was, however. not to be, for what followed was. concrete evidence, dramatic denials and ultimately confession by Cronje himself. This left me along with many other cricket enthusiasts shattered. To think that our yells of joy and excitement were all in vain is something that we cannot get over till date, We had indeed been cheated and betrayed. 

To further add insult to injury,. there were explosive Interviews given by Manoj Prabhakar in ' and to media coalmine our worst fears. We had indeed been betrayed for long._ While the allegations and counter-allegations on will take son-te terrific to settle. One thing is certain. cricket will never be the same again at least for -me, for no longer, will my cheers be as loud, nor my enthusiasm as great.


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