Qatari news outlet Al Jazeera’s report in May 2018 warned the cricketing world against corruption in the gentlemen’s game, but no one took it seriously.
Lawyers for the England and Australia teams rejected Al Jazeera’s evidence, while the ICC kept its silence. Now, the channel’s latest startling revelations have shaken the cricketing world to its core.
The report released on Sunday evening underscores that fifteen high-profile players from Australia, Pakistan and England have been involved in spot-fixing on 26 different occasions.
These fixes mostly involve the top international batsmen who agreed to underperform, the report said.
Al Jazeera report claims to have audio, and video evidence of fixings that reportedly took place between 2011 and 2012.
It further explains that a small group of English players in seven matches; Australian players in five matches and Pakistani players underperformed in three games in return for a considerable amount of money.
The fixes were allegedly carried out in matches of England vs India at Lord’s Cricket Ground, South Africa vs Australia in Cape Town and four matches during England’s series against Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in 2011-12.
The corrupted matches include three T20 World Cup games, six One Day Internationals and as many Tests.
The 15 matches in question are:
|Australia v England||ODI||21.01.2011|
|Australia v Zimbabwe||ODI World Cup||21.02.2011|
|England v Netherlands||ODI World Cup||22.02.2011|
|4. Australia v Kenya||ODI World Cup||13.03.2011|
|England v South Africa||ODI World Cup||06.03.2011|
|England v Bangladesh||ODI World Cup||11.03.2011|
|England v India||Test||21-25.07.2011|
|South Africa v Australia||Test||09-11.11.2011|
|Australia v New Zealand||Test||09-12.12.2011|
|England v Pakistan||Test||17-19.01.2012|
|England v Pakistan||Test||25-28.01.2012|
|England v Pakistan||Test||03-06.02.2012|
|Sri Lanka v Zimbabwe||World T20I||18.09.2012|
|England v Afghanistan||World T20I||21.09.2012|
|South Africa v Pakistan||World T20I||28.09.2012|
The report points out that there were cases where players from both teams agreed to have delivered a fix.
The report has pinned an Indian bookmaker, Anil Munawar, to be the main culprit behind the corruption in cricket. The said person has remained on ICC’s watchlist for several years, but no action was taken against him.
Munawar hails from Mumbai – the gangsters’ hub – but spends most of his time in Dubai. He is told to be the front man of infamous D-company. The report reveals that Munawar has been involved in fixing activities since 2010 – when the tainted trio of Pakistan was caught red-handed and was sent to jail.
In the documentary report, Munawar can be seen with top international cricketers including India’s current captain Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Suresh Raina, ex-cricketer Lakshmipathy Balaji, Pakistan’s Umar Akmal and former Australian coach Andy Bichel.
The report, however, clarifies that these photographs don’t necessarily show the involvement of these players in corrupt practices.
What Does ICC Have To Say?
Amid the recent turmoil, the top cricket governing body has vowed to launch an inquiry into the allegations and asked Al Jazeera to share the evidence with it.
Alex Marshall, the general manager of the ICC’s Anti-Corruption Unit, refutes the notion that the top cricket body does not take the issue of corruption in the game seriously.
“We take this issue (corruption) very seriously. The investigation into these allegations has already commenced and will run alongside many other live unrelated investigations. When considering the claims, we will work with professional independent betting analysts,” said Marshall while responding to Al Jazeera’s latest revelations.