Four Pakistan cricket players are under investigation for alleged match-fixing and have had their mobile phones and other possessions confiscated in what is one of the biggest betting scandals in cricket’s history.
The Pakistan cricketers, captain Salman Butt and bowlers Mohammad Amir and Mohammad Asif, were questioned along with wicket keeper Kamran Akmal by police following allegations that the Pakistan cricket team were involved in match fixing during the Lord’s Test match, which was won by England.
The allegations are the result of an undercover report by the News Of The World, in which a journalist posing as a representative from a “far east gambling cartel” allegedly paid a middleman £150,000 and in return was told the exact timing of three no-balls during the cricket match.
Cricketer, Asif’s, ex-girlfriend Veena Malik last night told a Pakistan TV channel that she believes cheating is rife within the team and that Asif told her:
“We will not win a match during the tour to Australia. We won’t win anything until 2010.
Malik continued: “He told me he was offered $40,000 (£25,850). I advised him not to be part of such activities but he did not listen. He went ahead and demanded $200,000 (£129,300).
“Since he came back, he has been totally involved in this.”
In May this year the International Cricket Council’s anti-corruption unit looked at the team’s poor performance after being heavily beaten by Australia during a tour of the country. Officials are now planning to check on 82 more cricket matches and the whole Pakistan cricket team will be questioned.
Pakistan are due to play a number of Twenty20 and one-day games as part of the tour and their team manager, Yawar Saeed, insisted the fixtures would go ahead. He revealed there were “sober feelings” in the dressing room, but continued: “No allegations are true until they are proved.”
The International Cricket Council’s chief executive, Haroon Lorgat, said:
“We’re busy with the Metropolitan Police and hope, before the weekend arrives, we can get to some sort of a conclusion.
“We are working hard, but it’s important to remember that an individual is innocent until proven guilty.”
Tags: Pakistan cricket team, cricket scandal, match fixing