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Match-fixer pockets £150k as he rigs England Test at Lord's

Discussion in 'The Big Adda' started by Speaker, Aug 29, 2010.

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  1. Speaker

    Speaker FULL MEMBER

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    The evidence is too compelling. Unfortunately, talented cricketers don't always have sense in them.

    Cricket in the dock as we expose betting scandal | England Pakistan Test | News Of The World

    News of the World smashes multi-million pound cricket match-fixing scandal


    By Mazher Mahmood & Amanda Evans, 29/08/2010

    THE News of the World has smashed a multi-million pound cricket match-fixing ring which RIGGED the current Lord's Test between England and Pakistan.


    In the most sensational sporting scandal ever, bowlers Mohammad Amir and Mohammad Asif delivered THREE blatant no-balls to order.

    Their London-based fixer Mazhar Majeed, who let us in on the betting scam for £150,000, crowed "this is no coincidence" before the bent duo made duff deliveries at PRECISELY the moments promised to our reporter.

    Armed with our damning dossier of video evidence, Scotland Yard launched their own probe into the scandal.


    How England Pakistan Test match was rigged for £150,000
    Millions around the world watched Pakistan star bowlers Mohammad Amir and Mohammad Asif deliver three no-balls in the Test against England on Thursday and Friday at the historic home of cricket, Lord's in London.

    Unsuspecting fans packed the ground yesterday to watch Pakistan collapse as they were bowled out for 74 in their first innings and forced to follow on.


    CAUGHT: Fixer Majeed beckons to our man to begin the £150,000 handover
    But today our shock footage of the players' fixer Mazhar Majeed taking a massive £150,000 cash, and telling us EXACTLY when the no-balls would come, proves the game was RIGGED.

    Having already trousered a £10,000 upfront deposit - which he insisted had gone to the stars - Majeed sat in our west London hotel room at the Copthorne Tara on Wednesday night and eagerly counted out the £140,000 balance in bundles of crisp £50 notes - our "entry ticket" into his already successful betting scam.

    Our undercover team was posing as front men for a Far East gambling cartel. In return for their suitcase of money Majeed then calmly detailed what would happen - and when - on the field of play next day, as a taster of all the lucrative information he could supply in future.

    He promised: "I'm going to give you three no-balls to prove to you firstly that this is what's happening. They've all been organised, okay?

    "This is EXACTLY what's going to happen, you're going to SEE these three things happen. I'm telling you, if you play this right you're going to make a lot of money, believe me!"


    LEFT TO RIGHT: Bowler Asif, skipper Butt, bowler Amir, keeper Akmal
    We can sensationally reveal Majeed identified young Pakistan captain Salman Butt as the ringleader of the band of cheats. He also named wicket keeper Kamran Akmal and boasted he had a total of SEVEN corrupt cricketers in his pocket, all banking huge sums from bookies and betting syndicates.

    The scam, fuelled by greed, is a betrayal by the players not only of their sport but of their cricket-crazy homeland.


    COUNTING IT OUT: Fixer tots cash up bundle by bundle
    As millions back home in Pakistan struggle against hunger and disease amid devastating floods, the cheats were defiling the reputation of Lord's and lining their own pockets.

    In a meeting with our investigators puppet-master Majeed:

    BRAGGED that the scam is rife and future games against England this summer are already earmarked for cheating.
    CONFESSED his match-fixing round the world had netted customers MILLIONS.
    REVEALED how he oversees cheating by using no-balls, specifying how many runs will be scored or conceded in certain overs, with signals such as changing gloves to confirm the fix is on.
    ADMITTED he abuses his position as owner of non-league Croydon Athletic FC to launder his illicit gains.
    At one stage Majeed told us our syndicate could make "absolutely millions, millions" by paying him up to £450,000 a time for info on matches, then placing bets on the fixed outcome. And he tried to excuse the players' shameful behaviour, claiming: "These poor boys need to. They're paid peanuts."

    Majeed said he had even opened Swiss bank accounts for them to hide their ill-gotten gains. We launched our investigation two weeks ago after a tip-off. The Pakistan side has long been dogged by match-fixing allegations. Only today has the full shocking extent been laid bare.


    MOMENT THAT SHAMED GAME: Star bowler Amir delivers Friday's promised no-ball
    Property tycoon Majeed, 35, has a £1.8 million home in Surrey and is a familiar face at cricket grounds around the world. We infiltrated his criminal network posing as wealthy businessmen on the make.

    Majeed turned up for our first meeting on Monday, August 16, at the Hilton in London's Park Lane, dressed in jeans and a sweater. He immediately started bragging of his connections with the Pakistani team. "I manage ten of the players," he told us. "I do all their affairs like contracts, sponsorship, marketing, everything. I work very closely with the PCB (Pakistan Cricket Board)."

    Our reporters told him they wanted to organise their own Twenty20 tournament in the Middle East. Majeed claimed he would be able to provide his players for the right fee. When our man assured Majeed the players would do well out of it, he immediately said with a wink: "I know what you're talking about because I know what goes on!"

    Majeed then hinted at the extent of cheating in the game. . .


    REPORTER: "If there's two or three that are on for the other side, the betting side, then good luck - they'll be really happy."

    MAJEED: "There's more than two or three. Believe me. It's already set up. That's already there. I'm very wary speaking about this simply because I don't know you guys. I've been dealing with these guys for seven years, okay? Who we deal with and how we deal with it is very, very important. This is the main thing. I'm only dealing with certain people. How we do it and what we do is very, very crucial."

    REPORTER: "You're already dealing with another party on this matter? Give us some tips as well if you've got any. Happy to cut us in?"

    MAJEED: "Yeah I'll give you tips."

    REPORTER: "If there's anything we need to know in the forthcoming match let me know. Happy to pay."

    Majeed said he was worried our men could be wearing tape recorders and he would check them out before going further.


    IT'S A DEAL: Satisfied Majeed puts money back in case
    Two days later at the Bombay Brasserie Indian restaurant in central London, Majeed told us we had begun to gain his trust. He had spent the day at the Oval where Pakistan bowled England out for 233 on the first day of the third Test. After a trusted source vouched for our credentials, Majeed relaxed and laid his cards on the table. . .

    MAJEED: "I do feel that I can speak to you about this, okay? Now, yes. . . there is very big money in it."

    REPORTER: "There's still? I know there was, but they clamped down on match fixing I heard."

    MAJEED: "They've toned down match-fixing a lot, yeah. They've made it very, very difficult. These guys won't deal with just anybody. The only reason they'll deal with me is because they know I'm professional, they've known me for years.

    "I've been doing it with them, the Pakistani team, for about 2½ years. And we've made masses and masses of money."

    Later that night Majeed boasted how it was the players who got HIM into match-fixing. He told us: "The players would never tell anybody else. They were the ones who actually approached me about this. This is the beauty of it.

    "I was friends with them for four, five years and then they said this happens. I said really?"


    OVER: Majeed leaves with the cash that fixed Lord's Test
    Majeed then described how the betting scam operates. He reached into a carrier bag, pulled out a white BlackBerry phone and flicked through a series of messages.

    "I deal with an Indian party," he said. "They pay me for the information."

    Then Majeed explained how many cricket bets are placed on what he called "brackets" - events happening in a group of 10 overs.

    If players score well in the first three overs punters would be likely to bet on that continuing for the next seven. But if the fixed players then deliberately STOP scoring or slow down, anybody in on it can "make a killing", said Majeed. The same happens with bowlers giving away runs or throwing no-balls.

    Not only is Majeed's information invaluable to syndicates involved in spread betting - where wagers are staked on a range of possible outcomes - it is also golddust for shady bookies looking to manipulate the odds in their favour.

    The following night - Thursday August 19 - Majeed demanded £10,000 then revealed to us there would be two no-balls in the following day's Oval play.

    That fix was cancelled on the day. So was a promised maiden over by captain Salman Butt on the Saturday - final day of the Test England lost. But days later - with our extra £140,000 in his hands - he delivered the promised goods at Lord's.

    Last night a Scotland Yard spokesman said: "Following information from the News of the World we have today arrested a 35-year-old man on suspicion of conspiracy to defraud bookmakers."

    Scotland Yard officers last night visited Lord's and the Pakistan players' London hotel. Police are set to speak to the players today.

    In a joint statement issued early today, the International Cricket Council, the England and Wales Cricket Board and the Pakistan Cricket Board confirmed the Test would resume today as planned.

    The statement added all three bodies were assisting the police with their inquiries, but as the matter was under investigation they would not be making any further comment.
     
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  2. Speaker

    Speaker FULL MEMBER

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    Check out the video on their website and some on youtube as well.
     
  3. Speaker

    Speaker FULL MEMBER

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  4. Dilemma

    Dilemma Captain SENIOR MEMBER

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    Hmm, very interesting. Thanks.
     
  5. Speaker

    Speaker FULL MEMBER

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    In one of my posts on PDF, I was hoping Amir doesn't lose his way due to PCB's arrogance and stupidity. Sadly, he is alleged to have made wrong choices himself.
     
  6. Osiris

    Osiris Major SENIOR MEMBER

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    Pak captain is ringleader, alleges bookie

    ookie Mazhar Majeed, who is now reportedly under arrest, said Pakistan captain Salman Butt was involved in the match-fixing and was the ringleader of the scandal in the ongoing fourth Test against England at Lord's.

    In a dramatic development the Scotland Yard detectives visited the Pakistan dressing room immediately after the third day's play to question the players after a British tabloid's sting operation exposed the alleged nexus between players and the bookies.

    "Scotland Yard detectives had visited the team hotel where they had taken statements of captain Salman Butt, fast bowlers Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Amir, and wicketkeeper Kamran Akmal," Pakistan team manager Yawar Saeed said.

    The 'News of the World' tabloid alleged that a Pakistani man Mazhar Majeed, who is now under arrest, had paid bribes to the players to bowl no-balls and wides in the series and the Lord's Test.

    The tabloid claims it has video evidence confirming involvement of seven players which it had shared with Scotland Yard triggering off the investigation into the spot-fixing racket.

    The International Cricket Council said it was aware of all the developments and made it clear that the fourth day's play of the ongoing Test will continue as scheduled.

    "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, the MCC, will make any further comment," an ICC statement said.

    Yawar said that the investigators also talked to him but denied that they raided the rooms of the players and recovered money and seized their laptops and phones.

    "The police have also spoken to me and we are trying to cooperate with them in every way possible and we are giving them what information they want," Yawar said.

    But sources said the Scotland Yard detectives gathered some evidence from the hotel after raiding the player's room.

    Geo Television has also reported that Scotland Yard have visited the Pakistan team hotel and inspected players rooms and the police is said to have recovered large amounts of money from rooms of some players and also seized their mobile phones.

    Confirming that he had contacted the Pakistan High Commission in London for assistance, Yawar said, "the High Commissioner is also in touch with the Scotland Yard in this issue. We are cooperating with them."

    Police in London have picked up Majeed and his accomplice in connection with the scandal. Majeed, 35, was arrested late on Saturday night after the tabloid handed over details of its sting operation to the Scotland Yard.

    Sources close to the Pakistan team also have confirmed that the police went into Pakistan dressing room in connection with the arrests as Majeed claims to have paid off some players in excess of 150,000 pounds to fix the Test match.

    "The police have carried out preliminary questioning of some players. Majeed is an old associate and friend of many Pakistani players and is settled in London. He has been seen regularly with the players on the tour," one source said.

    "The sad part for the Pakistan cricket is that several leading players are said to be involved in this new scandal which could cause untold damage to Pakistan cricket," he said.

    Pakistani TV channels reported that the players had been sounded off about the inquiry when the third day's play ended.

    "That is why the players left early for the hotel without anyone attending the mandatory day's post-play press conference," a source said.

    Pakistan had reduced England to 47 for five and then 102 for seven on second day at Lord's but then allowed Jonathan Trott and Stuart Broad to score centuries and share a new record eighth-wicket partnership of 332 runs.

    The two Pakistanis who allegedly bowled no-balls under directions from Majeed were Mohammad Amir and Mohammad Asif. Both bowlers delivered three no-balls on Thursday and Friday.

    The two bowlers delivered the no-balls "at precisely the moments promised to our reporter," the tabloid said.

    "Our undercover team was posing as front men for a Far East gambling cartel. In return for their suitcase of money Majeed then calmly detailed what would happen - and when - on the field of play next day, as a taster of all the lucrative information he could supply in future," it reported.

    Pakistan was bowled out for 74 on Saturday and made to follow-on where they reduced to 41 for four at stumps facing certain defeat and a big series loss.

    While match-fixing is fixing the result of the whole match, the spot-fixing is fixing events within a match, may be on ball-by-ball basis.

    This is not the first time that Akmal's name has come up in a match fixing allegation.

    After Australian tour earlier this year, former Pakistan coach Intikhab Alam and assistant coach Aaqib Javed (who is still with the team) had expressed suspicions about Kamran's involvement with bookies after assessing his performance in the Sydney Test.

    Meanwhile, Iqbal Mohammad Ali who heads National Assembly Standing Committee on Sports blamed the PCB and its Chairman Ijaz Butt for the humiliation Pakistan cricket was facing.

    "We and the Senate sports committee had warned that if some players were suspected of having ties with bookies they should be dropped from the team and disciplined.

    "But no one paid heed. If these players are now guilty we want to see them behind the bars because this conduct is unacceptable," Ali said.

    Pak captain is ringleader, alleges bookie- TIMESNOW.tv - Latest Breaking News, Big News Stories, News Videos
     
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  7. prototype

    prototype Major SENIOR MEMBER

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    that was actually embarrassing,but i am actually thinking of the after effects,may b this scandal expose a lot of other cricketers from other nation's also just like Hansie episode
     
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  8. Osiris

    Osiris Major SENIOR MEMBER

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    Pak still in denial even after ICC suspends tainted trio

    While in an unprecedented crackdown to restore the game's credibility, the ICC today charged and suspended Pakistan's tainted trio of Salman Butt, Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Amir under its anti-corruption code, the Pakistan government continued to be in denial and its Sports Minister Aijaz Jakhrani threatened to sue British tabloid 'News of the World' if the trio came out clean in the investigations.

    The tabloid was the first to expose the spot-fixing scandal involving the Pakistan's cricket team.

    Jakhrani maintained that the three players were innocent until proven guilty and the Pakistan government will take the newspaper to the court if the allegations were found untrue.

    "A player is the representative of a country. Salman Butt is a Pakistan player so is Asif and Amir. So it is the name of the country which is at stake. In case the allegations are not proved, definitely we will file a case and sue them (the newspaper). British laws are strict in this regard," Jakhrani told a Pakistani TV channel.

    The Sports Minister also refused to accept that the tainted players were dropped from the Twenty20 and ODI series in the wake of the spot-fixing scandal, saying they have been withdrawn to facilitate investigation.

    "The investigation is being done by Scotland Yard in London and the team is now based and will play their matches outside London (Taunton)," he said.

    "The three players have yesterday arrived in London with regard to investigation and will remain busy with the investigations. So, they won't get anytime to practice and that's why they have been kept aside," Jakhrani insisted.

    Jakhrani's statement came even as the International Cricket Council had charged the players with corruption offences and provisionally suspended the trio from all forms of the game pending a decision on the charges.

    Meanwhile, the International Cricket Council said the three players have been notified officially of the offences they are alleged to have committed and have been provisionally suspended pending a decision on the charges.

    "In accordance with the provisions of the code, this means they are immediately barred from participating in all cricket and related activities until the case has been concluded," ICC said in a statement.

    Pakistan, however, continued to defend the players and sought to give a new twist to the sordid episode by suggesting that an Indian bookmaker could be behind the "conspiracy".

    "I found that all these three players were absolutely innocent. They were not involved, they have been taken for a ride and the agent (Mazhar Majeed) was the culprit, in the sense that he was responsible for defrauding some Asian bookies," Pakistan High Commissioner to Britain Wajid S Hassan said.

    "The British press says Asian but if they were from Pakistan, they (British media) would have called Pakistanis, which means some Indian bookies were involved in it. This Majeed allegedly defrauded these Indian bookies and so the newspaper investigated this sort of sting operation through their sources here," he said.

    The ICC, however, said the players, who are due to appear before the Scotland Yard today for interrogation, "have a right to contest the provisional suspension and a further opportunity to defend these charges at a full hearing before an independent Anti-Corruption Tribunal in accordance with Article 5 of the code."

    The players have 14 days from their receipt of the charge sheet to indicate their desire for a hearing, the sport's governing body said.

    ICC Chief Executive Haroon Lorgat said, "We will not tolerate corruption in cricket. We must be decisive with such matters, and if proven, these offences carry serious penalties up to a life ban.â€￾

    "The ICC will do everything possible to keep such conduct out of the game and we will stop at nothing to protect the sport's integrity. While we believe the problem is not widespread, we must always be vigilant."

    Lorgat said the game's integrity is of "paramount importance".

    "Prompt and decisive action will be taken against those who seek to harm it. However, the facts must first be established through a thorough investigation and it is important to respect the right of due process when addressing serious allegations of this sort," he said.

    "Make no mistake -- once the process is complete, if any players are found to be guilty, the ICC will ensure that the appropriate punishment is handed out. We will not tolerate corruption in this great game," the ICC chief said.

    The alleged offences against Pakistani players, if proved, could lead to life bans. There is also a possibility, at the discretion of the independent tribunal, that a fine would be imposed in addition to a ban.

    The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) had already withdrawn the three players from the Twenty20 and ODI series against England until the completion of the inquiry.

    Refusing to accept that the three players were dropped in the wake of the spot-fixing scandal, the Pakistan High Commissioner to Britain, Hassan later told the media that the trio had themselves asked the Board not to consider them for the ODI series as they were under a great deal of mental stress because of the allegations against them.

    But despite PCB and the High Commissioner's statements, sources have indicated that the decision to ground the players had come on the insistence of the ICC when PCB Chairman Ijaz Butt met Lorgat late last night here.

    The PCB has already hired a British lawyer and also sent its own legal counsel, Tafazzul Rizvi, to defend the players while the Pakistan government has also rushed the deputy attorney general for the same purpose.

    Pak still in denial even after ICC suspends tainted trio
     
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  9. prototype

    prototype Major SENIOR MEMBER

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    ICC defends decision to suspend Pakistan cricketers

    The International Cricket Council today defended its decision to charge the three Pakistan cricketers accused of being at the centre of an alleged betting scam.

    The three men were today formally interviewed by police under caution for the first time. Mohammad Amir, Mohammad Asif and Test captain Salman Butt were interviewed separately throughout the day at Kilburn police station in north London. They were later released without charge.

    Speaking outside the station after they had left, their lawyer, Elizabeth Robertson, said they had attended voluntarily and at no time were they under arrest. She said the men would continue to co-operate fully with police and the International Cricket Council (ICC), which has already charged them under their anti-corruption code and provisionally banned them from playing in any match.

    While police decide whether there is enough evidence to charge the players with conspiracy to commit fraud, the ICC's Anti-Corruption and Security Unit (ACSU) is conducting its own parallel investigation. ICC investigators will not question the three players until they receive permission from the police and are finalising an "information sharing protocol" in order to be able to pool evidence where appropriate.

    The police seized money and mobile phones from the players last Sunday and are investigating any possible link between bank notes found in their possession and the money handed to a middle-man as part of the News of the World sting.

    But one difficulty Scotland Yard would face in attempting to prosecute the players is proving any money they received from Mazhar Majeed was taken in return for deliberately bowling no-balls.

    The Pakistani players have told friends they are prepared to tell detectives they did receive payments from Majeed, but this was entirely proper because he was their agent.

    Majeed, arrested last weekend by police over the News of the World allegations, and by Customs over money-laundering allegations, is the agent for all three players and responsible for organising their sponsorship deals.

    The players could claim that they believed any money he paid them was from sponsorship deals secured in his role as their agent.

    At least one of the players did not have a UK bank account and Majeed has represented members of Pakistan's test side in this role for several years.

    Last night, the ICC moved to provisionally suspend the trio after charging them with "various offences" under the governing body's code of conduct.

    Sir Ronnie Flanagan, the recently appointed chairman of ACSU, and ICC chief executive Haroon Lorgat insisted the offences were not "the tip of the iceberg".

    But Lorgat conceded that the sport faced its worst crisis since the Hansie Cronje match-fixing affair a decade ago.

    Pakistan high commissioner Wajid Shamsul Hasan this morning accused the ICC of "playing to the public gallery" by suspending the three cricketers.

    "They have done the wrong thing. When there's a live police inquiry, this takes precedence over both the ICC, civil or regulatory investigations and any disciplinary investigations," Hasan told the BBC.

    "To take action now is unhelpful, premature and unnecessary considering the players had already voluntarily withdrawn from playing. The ICC had no business to take this action."

    He said the ICC had "no authority" to intervene and has previously claimed the players were "set up" by the News of the World, which is expected to publish further revelations on Sunday. On the same day, England will face Pakistan in the first of two Twenty20 matches in Cardiff.

    Lorgat insisted that the proper processes had been followed and denied Hasan's conspiracy

    This particular incident with the three players is unrelated to the challenge that we've got in keeping Pakistan involved as a full member of the International Cricket Council," he said. The country has been unable to play at home since a terrorist attack on the Sri Lanka team bus in Lahore last year.

    "So I wouldn't want to link the two, and claims." I certainly wouldn't subscribe to the view that there is some sort of conspiracy around Pakistan cricket."

    ICC defends decision to suspend Pakistan cricketers | Sport | The Guardian
     
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  10. RoYaN

    RoYaN Lt. Colonel ELITE MEMBER

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    What can we say denial is their best hobby .
    They are in denial over every thing may it be Kassab, Taliban and now even their cricket team.
     
  11. Osiris

    Osiris Major SENIOR MEMBER

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    yes Denial and conspiracy theories are their State of art weapons...
     
  12. tariqkhan18

    tariqkhan18 Major Staff Member ADMINISTRATOR

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    What a talent this Aamer guy was for Pakistan. Now their team will continually be exposed without a special.
     
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