Match-fixing allegations hit Pakistani players

Sunday, August 29, 2010

LONDON/ISLAMABAD - The world of cricket plunged into another match-fixing crisis as the Metropolitan Police arrested London-based Mazhar Majeed who allegedly lured Pakistani fast bowlers Mohammad Amir and Mohammad Asif to deliver three blatant no-balls in the ongoing Lord’s Test against England.

In a sting operation conducted by The News of the World, it was revealed that Mazhar received some 150,000 pounds from the tabloid and promised the undercover reporter that the fast bowlers will bowl no-balls at the agreed moment of the game.

On the basis of video evidence given by the tabloid, Scotland Yard launched their own investigation into the scandal. Pakistan team manager Yawar Saeed confirmed that Scotland Yard police officials had questioned him and several players in connection with match -fixing allegations.

The police officials were in the team hotel and recording statements from captain Salman Butt, Asif, Aamir and wicketkeeper Kamran Akmal.

“They have also spoken to me and I have tried to answer their queries. We will cooperate all the way with them in these investigations,” Yawar was quoted as saying by Pakistani channel Geo TV.

Yawar denied media reports that the officers had confiscated mobile phones and laptops or that they had found money stashed in players’ rooms.

“That is not correct, but we are also in touch with our high commission in London and cooperating with the police.”

Amir and Asif delivered three no-balls in the Test against England Thursday and Friday at the historic Lord’s.

In a statement, the International Cricket Council (ICC) said: “The ICC, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) and the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) have been informed by the Metropolitan Police that a 35-year-old man has been arrested Saturday on suspicion of conspiracy to defraud bookmakers.

“The Metropolitan Police have informed the ICC, ECB and PCB that their investigations continue and ICC, ECB and PCB, with the involvement of the ICC Anti Corruption and Security Unit, are fully assisting those enquiries.

“No players nor team officials have been arrested in relation to this incident and the 4th npower Test match will continue as scheduled on Sunday. As this is now subject to a police investigation, neither ICC, ECB, PCB nor the ground authority, the MCC, will make any further comment.”

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