We all have that one friend who insists, whenever a cricket match is going a certain way, that the game is fixed. Take that friend and multiply him by each one of the 49 matches of the current World Cup, and you have this WhatsApp message that’s been going viral.

Appearing a week before the Cup, the forward insisted that the tournament was fixed and predicted the winners of every single game all the way up to the finals. And for the first week or so it appeared to be incredibly accurate, becoming so viral that even the Times of India covered it.

Until Friday, everything went well. Minnow Ireland beat the West Indies, an upset that wasn’t easily predicted. New Zealand also earned a victory over England. But on Saturday, the forward went off the rails.

Pakistan, predicted to beat the West Indies, was absolutely pummeled by the Caribbean team. And the Australia-Bangladesh game, which was supposed to have been fixed so that the former would win, ended in a draw after rain washed out the match.

The forward might still end up being somewhat true -- it predicts things as unlikely as Zimbabwe beating India and South Africa overcoming its choker tag and taking home the World Cup for the first time ever.

But the speed with which it spread, even by those taking it half seriously, suggests a deeper problem with cricket, one that has built up after repeated scandals that revealed matches having been fixed.

One of India’s most successful captains, Mohammad Azharuddin, was embroiled in the match fixing storm towards the end of his career. In the year 2000, he even admitted to fixing three ODI matches after Hansie Cronje, the then South African captain indicated that he was the one to introduce him to bookmakers.

This is not the only instance, as previously players from Indian Premier League and English leagues too have faced bans on match and spot fixing charges. More recently, Pakistani players Mohammad Amir, Mohammad Asif and Salman Butt were found guilty of orchestrating no-balls against England in 2010 and faced bans of five, seven and ten years respectively.

In the aftermath of those scandals, rumours of matches being fixed spread easily, and were hard to dispel after more incidents kept emerging. The corruption at the heart of cricket bodies the world over, not least in India, only furthers this impression.

Take former Board of Control for Cricket in India chairman and current International Cricket Council chairman N Srinivasan, who is being investigated on several fronts, including serious conflicts of interest as a team owner.

A genuine upset result in a cricket match is not a novelty. Cricket is called a game of glorious uncertainties just for this reason. But it is the inglorious stain of match and spot fixing which makes one look at any such result with suspicion, particularly when it has been predicted with great certainty. Which is what seems to have happened with these latest claim about fixed matches.

That the WhatsApp forward turned out to be wrong might give some relief to fans of the game who still want to believe in the gentleman's game. But the fact that the doubt might have even existed in the first place says much more about the state of modern cricket.