Pak team em­broiled match-fix­ing probe

Mon­day, Au­gust 30, 2010, Ra­madan 19, 1431

The Pak Banker - - Front Page -

LONDON: Pak­istan's em­bat­tled cricket team were em­broiled in al­le­ga­tions of match-fix­ing on Sun­day af­ter Bri­tish po­lice ar­rested a man on sus­pi­cion of con­spir­acy to de­fraud bookmakers.

The con­tro­versy erupted af­ter the News of the World al­leged some mem­bers of the Pak­istan team were in­volved in a bet­ting scam in the on­go­ing fourth and fi­nal Test against Eng­land at Lord's.

Bri­tain's biggest-sell­ing news­pa­per claimed sev­eral bla­tant no-balls had been de­liv­ered by Pak­istan bowlers.

The weekly tabloid said it gave 150,000 pounds (230,000 dol­lars, 185,000 eu­ros) to a mid­dle man who cor­rectly told them in ad­vance pre­cisely when those de­liv­er­ies would be bowled.

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

De­spite the lat­est con­tro­versy swirling around the game, the In­ter­na­tional Cricket Coun­cil (ICC) in­sisted the fourth Test would con­tinue as sched­uled on Sun­day, adding that no "play­ers nor team of­fi­cials have been ar­rested in re­la­tion to this in­ci­dent".

Pak­istan tour man­ager Yawar Saeed added: "I can con­firm we are aware of the al­le­ga­tions. Scot­land Yard (Metropoli­tan) po­lice are with us now at our ho­tel and we are help­ing them with their en­quiries.

"This is as much as I can say at the moment."

The News of the World pub­lished im­ages and di­a­logue from the en­counter and a pic­ture of what it said was one of the promised no-balls de­liv­ered 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.

The News of the World claimed their re­porters 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 mid­dle man then cor­rectly pre­dicted when the no-balls would be bowled. The news­pa­per showed the al­leged fixer with piles of cash on a ta­ble.

Mean­while, the ICC said the match would con­tinue as planned on Sun­day at Lord's, the spir­i­tual home of the game.

"The In­ter­na­tional Cricket Coun­cil, 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 on sus­pi­cion of con­spir­acy to de­fraud bookmakers," said an ICC state­ment.

"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 fourth 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, MCC (Maryle­bone Cricket Club), will make any fur­ther com­ment," it added.

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