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Thread: Arrest in England-Pakistan 'match-fixing' probe

  1. Arrest in England-Pakistan 'match-fixing' probe

    LONDON: British police said Saturday they had arrested a man on suspicion on conspiracy to defraud bookmakers following newspaper allegations of match-fixing in the ongoing cricket Test between England and Pakistan.

    The News of the World alleged that some members of the Pakistan team were involved in a scam in the fourth and final Test at Lord's.

    "Following information received from the News of the World we have arrested a 35-year old man on suspicion of conspiracy to defraud bookmakers," a spokesman for London's Metropolitan Police told media.

    Meanwhile, Manager Pakistan cricket team Yawar Saeed, denying media reports of arrests of some Pakistani players, said: “No Pakistani player had been arrested and the team will go ahead with fourth day’s play on Sunday.”

    News of the World, Britain's biggest-selling newspaper, alleged that two Pakistan bowlers delivered three blatant no-balls.

    The weekly tabloid said it gave 150,000 pounds to a middleman who correctly told them in advance precisely when the deliveries would be bowled.

    The newspaper published images and dialogue from the encounter and a picture of what it said was one of the promised no-balls on Friday.

    It also ran a photograph of Pakistan captain Salman Butt standing with the man they claimed was the middleman, and one of their reporters.

    Yawar Saeed told a television the allegations were being investigated.

    He was cited as saying that none of his players had been arrested and the Test would continue Sunday as planned.

    The newspaper claimed they had posed as front men for an Asian gambling cartel, paying 10,000 pounds to the alleged fixer as an upfront deposit.

    They met again on Wednesday in a west London hotel room to hand over the rest of the money as their "entry ticket" into what they claimed was a "huge betting syndicate".

    They claimed the middleman then correctly predicted when the no-balls would be bowled.

    Pakistan collapsed spectacularly yet again in the series as England closed in on an innings victory on Saturday.

    At stumps, Pakistan, following-on, were 41 for four in their second innings, having been made to follow-on after they were dismissed for just 74 first time around.

    That left them still 331 runs adrift of England's first innings 446 as the home team eyed a victory that would give them a 3-1 win in their last series before they begin the defence of the Ashes in Australia in November.

    Muhammad IMRAN

    Proud To Be Pakistani

  2. Pakistan cricket team in match-fixing controversy

    Pakistan are embroiled in a match-fixing scandal after allegations emerged on Saturday night that elements of the current Test match against England at Lord’s were rigged.

    Mazhar Majeed, a 35-year-old London-based businessman, has been accused of accepting £150,000 from an undercover journalist in return for telling Pakistan fast bowlers Mohammad Amir and Mohammad Asif to deliberately bowl three no-balls last Thursday and Friday.

    Last night, a 35 year-old man was arrested by police on suspicion of conspiracy to defraud bookmakers. Pakistan team manager Yawar Saeed confirmed that Scotland Yard police officials had questioned him and several players in connection with the allegations.

    “They have spoken to me and I have tried to answer their queries,” he said. “We will cooperate all the way with them in these investigations.”

    Yawar denied reports that officers had confiscated mobile phones and laptops or that police had found money stashed in players’ hotel rooms. “That is not correct,” he said.

    Asif confirmed he had spoken to team officials. “The management have told us something happened, but not what,” he said. “The management will tell us more later.”

    Video footage of the meeting between Majeed and the News of the World reporter, who was posing as part of an Asian gambling syndicate, shows the businessman accepting the money and insisting that the three no-balls “have been organized” with the Pakistan team.

    “This is exactly what’s going to happen, you’re going to see these three things happen,” Majeed said. “I’m telling you, if you play this right you’re going to make a lot of money, believe me.”

    Amir and Asif did bowl three no-balls at the times specified by Majeed: Amir’s first ball of the third over and Asif’s sixth ball of the 10th over last Thursday, and the third ball of Amir’s third over on Friday. On each occasion, the bowlers overstepped the crease by a significant margin.


    Yesterday, Pakistan were teetering on the brink of defeat, still trailing England by 331 runs with six wickets remaining in their second innings.

    Majeed’s allegations about corrupt behavior within the Pakistan camp also extended to other senior squad members. He claimed up to seven players could be ‘bought’ for cash.

    “I’ve been doing it [match-fixing] with them for about two-and-a-half years and we’ve made masses of money,” Majeed said.

    “I manage 10 of the players, I do all their affairs like contracts, sponsorship, marketing, everything really. The players would never tell anybody else. They were the ones who actually approached me about this.

    “This is the beauty of it. I was friends with them for four, five years and then they said this happens. These poor boys need to [do this]. They’re paid peanuts.”

    Majeed, a property tycoon who has a controlling stake in non-league football club Croydon FC, allegedly attempted to fix elements of the Third Test at the Oval, only for his plans to fall through. He told the reporter that a deposit of £150,000 would be required to fix the result of a Test.

    Majeed also claimed that Pakistan’s one-day games with England had been earmarked for rigging. Pakistan are due to play five 50-over games between Sept 5 and Sept 22, together with two Twenty20 internationals.

    If proven, the claims will cast a huge shadow over the perceived integrity of world cricket, and Pakistan in particular.

    The sport in Pakistan is already in turmoil as no international matches can be staged in the country due to security concerns.

    Pakistan have been at the centre of match-rigging claims before, notably in 2000 when former captain Saleem Malik and bowler Ata-ur-Rehman were found guilty of fixing.

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