LONDON: An English newspaper has claimed that the third One Day International (ODI) match between Pakistan and England was fixed, adding that ICC has commenced probe to get to the bottom of its claims.
Pakistan defeated England in a dramatic fashion amid last moments of game when English team seemed to have gained full control over it.
Cricket chiefs launched an investigation during England’s one-day match against Pakistan yesterday amid fears it was fixed by an illegal betting syndicate, it claimed.
The International Cricket Council (ICC) acted after the paper’s probe exposed evidence apparently showing that bookies knew details of Pakistan’s innings before the match even began, it wrote.
Incredibly, it comes after three Pakistani stars had already been sent home in disgrace amid claims of match-fixing.
The new investigation will centre on suspicious scoring patterns in Pakistan’s innings and on two suspect overs during yesterday’s match at The Oval.
Illegal bookies in India and Dubai apparently knew in advance what would happen so they could launch a betting coup.
But The daily’s undercover team was able to pass details to ICC inspectors before the match began.
Cricket chiefs then watched as Pakistan’s score mirrored the target that bookies had been told in advance by a fixer.
It is not thought that the overall result was fixed, only scoring rates in parts of Pakistan’s innings. Pakistan eventually won by 23 runs.
The scandal centres on whether the match was manipulated by underground bookies to cash in on a popular bet among punters in India, where betting is illegal.
Gamblers like to bet on how many runs will be scored in each ten-over session of an innings.
Bookies cash in by knowing in advance what will happen, then offering odds that tempt punters to back the wrong result – or by placing bets with other bookies backing what they know will happen.
The dramatic probe began after The Sun received details of calls between a notorious Dubai-based match fixer and a Delhi bookie.
We alerted ICC corruption busters led by ex-police chief Sir Ronnie Flanagan. After a frantic round of calls the ICC decided to issue a general warning to Pakistan’s players, but by then the game had started.
The newspaper is withholding details of the alleged fix while the investigation continues – but we can reveal that horrified ICC chiefs launched their investigation before the Pakistan innings had even finished.
The probe centres on an individual within the team camp who is believed to be the ringleader, taking money from bookies and ensuring their orders are carried out.
ICC chief executive Haroon Lorgat last night thanked the daily for its investigation and pledged tough action on any players found guilty.
It said that it can reveal the ICC is also investigating whether the same cartel rigged a Test between Pakistan and Australia in July after allegedly paying players £700,000.
Pakistan’s Test captain Salman Butt, 25, and bowlers Mohammad Asif, 27, and Mohammad Amir, 18, flew home after the News of the World revealed no-balls were deliberately sent down in the Lord’s Test. Wicketkeeper Kamran Akmal is also under investigation. All deny any wrongdoing.