Match-fixing and nuclear physics have nothing in common, except that the end-products of both are mighty explosive. But Cape Town, 2000, is the cricketing equivalent of Chagai Hills, 1998. When 'Islamic' Pakistan went nuclear two summers ago, barely a fortnight after 'Hindu' India had, every major religion in the world, 'Jewish' Israel included, had joined the 'Christian' West and the 'Buddhist' East in having its own 'anu bum'.
Likewise, Hansie Cronje's confession. It may still fail to provide the kind of proof of player-complicity that will convince the CBI and bcci that something is rotten in the Gardens of Eden. But what it does establish is that nobody is above suspicion when it comes to dancing with the devil in the middle of the pitch. Australians, Asians, Afrikaners. Whites, browns, coloured. Christians, Hindus, Muslims.
Like infidelity, is match-fixing in our genes?
But Mohammed Azizuddin Azharuddin? Ten years ago, when he was 27, if there was one player who would have won automatic nomination of his peers as the second most popular cricketer in the country...