The Match Is Not Fixed


Believe for a moment that using the towel as an indicator, a bowler indicates his intention to give away at least 16 runs. That’s what the plan is and the bookies are ready to make a fortune after the over. The bowler gives a slow medium pacer that even Geoffrey Boycott’s mom could send beyond the boundary. However the no.3 batsman who is in crease fails to make any contact. This process repeats for the next three balls. The bowler gets suspicious. He sees a handkerchief over the batsman’s glove and realizes that the batsman might be out there to give a maiden over. What does the bowler do in such a situation? Resort to wide and no-balls. If batsman really is looking for a maiden, then he might prove to be a hindrance to wide. So no-ball might look like a safe option. 16 no-balls would however be no eyewash. Adding one more layer of complexity here could be if the Umpire out there is already paid by another group to ignore extra runs and instead call them legal deliveries. This kind of interactive match fixing could put match fixing into a fix. A, B, C or D or even Z company that might be behind the scandal would definitely think several times before putting money if they find themselves in such situations. For ease of interpretation we did not consider if some of the fielders were also acting out of fixed commitments during the same over.

Now let us look at the data from IPLs ard try to decipher from the data some simple observations that might point towards match fixing.

Rajasthan Royals have made the lowest IPL score total of 58 in 2009 and that means that they scored over 2 runs per over on an average. Let’s then assume that any score of less than 2 world require special effort (by the bowler, the batsman or in combination). Likewise in 2013, the Royal Bangalore Challengers scored the highest IPL total of 263 runs meaning that on an average they scored more than 12 runs per over. Must add that maiden overs are a distinct possibility and so are overs that could go for 36 runs or more.


Let us see the table below for wickets and maiden overs in the IPL since its inception in 2008.(data from Wikipedia:




maiden overs

























We want to see if there is anything unusual in the patterns of maiden overs or wickets taken over the years.

As the numbers of matches are different for different IPL year series, we take the average per series and extrapolate for 100 matches



maiden overs per 100 matches













The numbers of wickets taken seem to be more even across all IPL series. But the exceptionally high numbers of maiden overs bowled in 2013 certainly appear to be beyond the normally expected range.

Each and every maiden over bowled in the IPL therefore deserves some additional investigation. Who were the bowlers and who the batsmen were when the overs went without run?  Some of those overs might have an extra story to be unraveled. In fact any over that went for less than 2 runs should not be let off the radar of doubt.

One could argue that if the investigations reveal that the bowlers who bowled the overs were the top economy bowlers and the once facing them were below average batsmen (or tailenders), then it would be acceptable, however at least a few of the 92 maiden overs would stand out and cry for attention.

We could jump the gun and claim that there was match fixing this year. In fact the matches this year were mostly not fixed. They were merely a collection of Spot fixing cases. One sided spot fixing can definitely impact the match outcome. Whether randomly but evenly opposing spot fixing events have any directional impact on the outcome of the match would be a study of interest.

Some still believe the matches were fixed. A more philosophical solution to dismiss the claim is that it is already a known fact. Ripley’s believe it or not but all matches are always fixed, in heaven, they say. The One who rules the world uses human beings as mere pawns without any random biases. Sr…nth and are merely the latest victims of timing of already predetermined events in their fate during their lifetimes. When match fixing is not in news, it’s a gentleman’s game and when news breaks about fixing, it appears that almost everyone was in loop, one by one till they get unlucky.

2 thoughts on “The Match Is Not Fixed

  1. Panda says:

    If you see the trend of maiden over 2012 shows the minimum number where as 2013 is showing the max. It means the performances of bowler is improved. Batsman are not hitting. who are all targeted by Bookies blower or bats man? One more observation one senior KKR batsman played almost all matches, with less contribution in the field .. in all forms batting , balling and with worst fielding.

  2. amrit says:

    SAS software was used for the statistical plot

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