ICC knew bookie Majeed’s presence in Sydney Test: Report
Melbourne: International Cricket Council had concerns about the presence of London bookie Mazhar Majeed, who was at the center of spot-fixing scandal that rocked world cricket two months ago, during the Sydney Test early this year but failed to inform CA about it, a report claimed on Monday.
Australian Broadcasting Corporation, in its programme ‘Four Corners’, claimed that ICC had concerns about Majeed when he was in Australia during Pakistan tour, months before he was caught in a ‘News of the World’ sting for allegedly fixing the Lord’s Test.
The ICC, however, claimed that it was not in a position to pass any information on to Cricket Australia before the Pakistan tour.
“These are leads that we have to follow through and be quite confident before we make allegations, and it was the subject of an ongoing investigation,” ICC chief executive Haroon Lorgat said in the ‘Four Corners’ programme.
“We were not satisfied of the extent of his activities and we needed to be quite confident before we levelled any accusations,” he said.
Majeed had boasted that he had fixed the Sydney Test (January 3-7). Pakistan wicketkeeper Kamran Akmal had dropped four easy catches as his side lost from a winning position raising suspicions of match-fixing.
The ICC, however, has made it clear that there is no specific investigation into the Sydney Test for lack of evidence.
Former PCB chief Tauqir Zia also revealed yesterday in a television programme that the ICC had sent a written communication to the Pakistan Board informing that six players are suspected to have rigged the Sydney Test and they should be closely monitored.
Majeed was arrested by Scotland Yard and later released on bail after he told a ‘News of the world’ undercover journalist in August that he could arrange for no balls to be bowled at specific points in a match, which could then be bet on.
The no balls were then bowled, as specifically predicted, during the Fourth Test between England and Pakistan at Lord’s.
Three Pakistani players – then Test captain Salman Butt, and pacers Mohammad Aamir and Mohammad Asif – were interrogated by Scotland Yard and provisionally suspended by the ICC.
Their hearing under ICC anti-corruption code will be held in Qatar on October 30 and 31.
Meanwhile, Federal Sports Minister Mark Arbib has held discussions with Australia’s top sporting bodies, as well as his international counterparts, to determine the best way to combat match-fixing in sport, including passing of legislation.
Arbib also raised match-fixing concerns at a Commonwealth Sports Ministers meeting in Delhi earlier this month.