Leading batsman played suspiciously in IPL: Report

Melbourne: The corruption scandal that has rocked international cricket could engulf the Indian Premier League (IPL) as well with reports here claiming that a leading batsman played so "suspiciously" in the event that he had to be moved up the order to stop him from "manipulating matches".

According to a report in `The Australian`, quoting two unnamed IPL officials, "a leading batsman had played so suspiciously that they could not explain his behaviour."

"...both officials agreed that his performances were highly suspect. They did not want him named for fear that it could be traced back to them and lead to retribution in India," the report stated.

The newspaper said the officials found the "player`s performances were puzzling, particularly scoring slowly towards the end of an innings when the opposite should have been happening."

"He consistently under-performed and often appeared uninterested or distracted."

The report said IPL officials have also been receiving complaints of "matches being rigged" by various franchises.

"He has been under the scanner for a while," the official said.

The newspaper said the ICC`s Anti-Corruption and Security Unit is "frustrated" with several boards in the subcontinent "for failing to take stronger action against their players after being provided with information about dubious behaviour. The two main targets have been the Pakistan team and the IPL."

The latest report comes in the wake of the ongoing spot-fixing scandal exposed by a British tabloid which has led to the suspension of three Pakistani cricketers – Test captain Salman Butt and fast bowlers Mohammad Aamir and Mohammad Asif -- and an inquiry by the Scotland Yard.