(l-r : Pakistan’s Asif, Butt, Amir, and Akmal)
If any sport challenges competitive cycling for chicanery at it’s hightest level of competition, it might be international cricket. The latest match fixing scandal involves England’s rout of Pakistan in the 4th Test Match at Lord’s, the latter’s heaviest defeat in Test history. A sting operation on the part of the News Of The World provides not so subtle hints that England had one heck of a competitive advantage. From the Independent’s Sadie Grey :
Bowlers Mohammad Aamer and Mohammad Asif deliberately bowled three no-balls, said the News of the World, which had paid the betting ring’s fixer £150,000 for detailed information about how the match would progress. The paper’s reporters filmed meetings with London-based middleman Mazhar Majeed, who told them in exactly which overs of the Fourth Test the no-balls would be delivered. “This is no coincidence,” Mr Majeed told them as the action developed as he had described.
The match, which began on Thursday, was on a knife edge as England held a slender 2-1 lead in the series. Pakistan collapsed, bowled out for 74 in their first innings and were forced to follow on.
Mr Majeed claimed that Pakistan’s captain, Salman Butt, was the ringleader of the match-fixing scam and wicket-keeper Kamran Akmal was also in the know, the newspaper said.
At earlier meetings, Mr Majeed claimed to “manage” 10 players within the Pakistani cricket team and told the reporters: “These guys won’t deal with just anybody. The only reason they’ll deal with me is because they know I’m professional. I’ve been doing it with them, the Pakistani team, for about two and a half years. And we’ve made masses and masses of money.
“The players would never tell anybody else. They were the ones who approached me. This is the beauty of it.” He later added: “These poor boys need to. They’re paid peanuts,” and bragged that some of Pakistan’s other games against England this summer were already lined up for rigging.</em>