More embarrassment for Pak likely in fixing row

Karachi: Pakistan cricket could find itself in a deeper crisis in the coming days as the spot-fixing scandal involving suspended players Salman Butt, Mohammad Aamir and Mohammad Asif is expected to grow bigger with fresh revelations.

Sources have revealed that British tabloid `The News of the World` tabloid, which broke the story about the alleged nexus between the Pakistani trio and a bookie Mazhar Majeed, is likely to release more details which will bring more embarrassment for the players and PCB.

"The players were on Friday let off by the investigating authorities after a marathon inquiry session without any charges being pressed against them but this does not mean the matter is going to die down soon," one source said.

Well aware of the behind the scenes development in London, the source said the tabloid had apparently handed over long hours of recorded conversations between Pakistani players and Mazhar Majeed dating back to the Twenty20 World Cup and the Asia Cup in Sri Lanka.

"In one particular audio tape, one player is heard talking to Mazhar about getting out early in a match of the Asia Cup," the source said.

He said the tabloid had more forensic evidence like SMS texts exchanged and some videos showing the players with the alleged bookie.

Another source said the tabloid had tipped off the International Cricket Council`s anti-corruption unit during the England tour about the possible nexus between the players and Mazhar Majeed.

"The investigations that have taken behind the scenes so far cover the T20 World Cup and the Asia Cup before the England tour. The two Test matches that Pakistan lost last year in Sri Lanka from winning positions have also been looked at by the ACSU," the source disclosed.

The source noted that despite all the hue and cry over the sudden suspension of players, the ICC and Scotland Yard had shown the PCB and its legal advisors some of the forensic evidence including transcripts of the telephone conversations that led them to make the allegations against the players public and eventually suspend them under the anti-corruption code of conduct.

Another source said the ICC and ACSU were not satisfied with the role of Pakistan manager Yawar Saeed and felt he had not done enough to prevent the situation from getting out of hand as the code of conduct also placed great responsibility on the team officials and support staff.

"There was an incident in Sri Lanka during the Asia Cup which the ACSU believes Yawar should have prevented," he added.