1 held for fixing no-balls in England-Pakistan Test

Updated: Aug 29, 2010, 09:10 AM IST

London: The ghost of match-fixing returned to the world of cricket on Saturday with Scotland Yard arresting an alleged fixer after a British tabloid revealed sordid details about corruption in the Pakistan cricket team currently facing defeat in the Lord`s Test.

A tabloid splashed details of a sting operation it conducted on one London-based individual, Mazhar Majeed.

The tabloid said it gave 150,000 pounds to him after he promised to arrange for Pakistan bowlers to bowl no-balls during a match.

Majeed, 35, was arrested late last night after the tabloid handed over details of its sting operation to Scotland Yard.

The two Pakistan cricketers who allegedly bowled no-balls under directions from Majeed were Mohammed Amir and Mohammed Asif.

Both bowlers delivered three no-balls in the ongoing Test against England on Thursday and Friday at the historic Lord`s.

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.

Majeed reportedly said: "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!"

Majeed identified Pakistan captain Salman Butt as the `ringleader of the band of cheats`. He also reportedly named wicket-keeper Kamran Akmal and boasted that he had a total of seven corrupt cricketers in his pocket, the report said.

Majeed is identified as a property tycoon with a house in Surrey worth 1.8 million pounds.

The tabloid reporter`s meetings with Majeed were held in the Bombay Brasserie Indian restaurant here, and Majeed reportedly went on to allege an Indian connection as well. He is quoted as saying: "I deal with an Indian party. They pay me for the information."

Yawar Saeed, Pakistan`s manager, said his team members spoke to the police at their hotel.

He said he was shocked by the allegations, as were the team members to whom he had spoken.

PTI