Kolkata: As cricket bosses grappled to find a way out of the spot-fixing mess involving Pakistan players, social networking forum twitter was flooded with comments from fans expressing disgust at the latest scandal to hit the game.
Cricket lovers termed the alleged involvement of three cricketers from across the border in the scam as a "slur on the game" and even put the blame on the advent of Twenty20 and its biggest show, the cash-rich Indian Premier League (IPL).
"With the advent of T20 cricket and more so the cash-rich IPL, match fixing has had a new life altogether it seems. I believed that it has been pricked from its roots since the scandal that broke out a decade earlier involving Mohd. Azharuddin and co… Cricket is spoiled and I admit that keeping a stone in my heart! I used to love the game," a middle-aged businessman Gopal Manna tweeted.
SANFAN01, a 19-year-old college goer, did not hesitate to point fingers at the Pakistan players on the social networking forum, which has been gaining in popularity.
"Being not just only a cricket fan, but also a citizen of a country, this was absolutely nauseating from the Pakistan cricket players involving in such a felony. It was not only a slur on the game which they live on but also they are sordid blemishes as the citizens of their country," he said.
Another youth, Soham Dey, asked the apex International Cricket Council (ICC) to initiate steps to save the game.
"As a cricket fan, it is my utter displeasure to see the game being entrenched with the vulgar title of match fixing. Although this title got its birth long ago (referring to the Hansie Cronje chapter), the title being reincarnated in the recent Pak scandal was shameful. I would like to see the ICC come forward and take some steps as the parent body of the game. Cricket should retain its status as a sport instead of becoming a business."
Three Pakistan cricketers - skipper Salman Butt and pacers Mohammed Asif and Mohammed Aamer - stand accused of having taken money from bookie Mazhar Majeed to bowl no-balls at pre-decided slots of the fourth and final Test between Pakistan and England at Lord's.
With more hidden skeletons tumbling out with each passing day, it seems cricket is confronted with one of its gravest crises.