Pakistani players face more allegations of match-fixing

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='' class='caption'> The Pakistan cricket team could find itself in more trouble as reports claim that the side's players also rigged the opening Test against England, whi

Updated: August 30, 2010 07:44 IST
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New Delhi:

The Pakistan cricket team could find itself in more trouble as reports claim that the side's players also rigged the opening Test against England at Nottingham, which the hosts won by a massive 354 runs.

According to British tabloid 'The Sun', Scotland Yard's Assistant Commissioner Cressida Dick was told about Pakistani players being involved in match fixing a month ago. (In Pics: Pakistan's endless 'fixing' saga)

This comes after the News of the World exposed match-fixing during the Test between England and Pakistan at Lord's. (Read: The Cricket scandal that has rocked Pakistan)

"Ms Dick, head of the Specialist Crime Directorate, was still assessing that information yesterday when a News of the World probe exposed a Pakistani match-fixing ring," according to the British tabloid.

Meanwhile, another report claimed that the Pakistani players were found with cash exceeding their daily allowances during a Scotland Yard raid on Saturday night.

The bookie at the center of the storm, Mazhar Majeed, who was arrested on Saturday and released on bail last night, is seen claiming that the result of the Sydney Test between Australia and Pakistan was rigged in the video of the sting operation conducted by British tabloid 'The News of the World'.

In the video, Majeed is seen boasting about the fixed result of the Sydney Test and the money he earned from it.

Former cricket captains around the world reacted with shock and anger at the 'spot-fixing' scandal involving Pakistani players and demanded life bans for the guilty to wipe out corruption from the sport.

He had told the News of the World how he launders match-fixing money through the football club. "The only reason I bought a football club is to do that," he said.

The video shows him demanding a £10,000 down payment before guaranteeing two no-balls on the second day of the match during a secret meeting outside a restaurant where he was dining with the team.

The British tabloid has said bookie Mazhar Majeed also boasted that the betting syndicate made more than 830,000 pounds with one controversial Test this year.

Meanwhile, during the investigation, the Scotland Yard detectives spoke to Mohammad Aamer, Mohammad Asif and skipper Salman Butt and took away their mobile phones, Pakistan team manager Yawar Saeed confirmed on Sunday.

However, despite the allegations, Saeed has denied that Pakistan cricket was "institutionally corrupt".

"We would like to wait to see what happens in the investigation. Only then we can say anything," Saeed said.

Back home the Pakistan cricket fraternity is stunned by the latest developments and have reacted with shock and anger to the 'spot-fixing' scandal. They said the accused players and the team management should be called back home immediately and prompt steps be taken to deal with the scandal.

Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari has also expressed his disappointment at the allegations and promised that any player found guilty would be severely punished.

If wrongdoing was proven, "all the players involved must forget to play for Pakistan in future," the President's spokesman Farhatullah Babar said.

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