Even as the cricket world settles down following the scandalous details that emerged during and after the 2013 edition of the Indian Premier League, there are reports that suggest the recent One-Day International series between West Indies and Pakistan might not have been free of wrongdoing.
The Mail on Sunday reported that the series is "set to be investigated" as "suspicious betting patterns were identified during the low-profile five-match series", which Pakistan won 3-1 after one match was tied.
The report mentioned the "unusually slow run-rates during certain overs followed by bursts of high scoring" as being under scrutiny, while the tied game, the third of the series, reportedly raised many eyebrows. The second ODI, which saw Pakistan fail to score a run off the bat in the first five overs after being set 233 to win, will also be looked at. (All the scorecards from the series)
One betting website reported unusually large sums of money - said to run into several millions of pounds - being wagered between innings on a tied result during the third ODI after West Indies were set 230 to win from 50 overs, said the newspaper. West Indies needed 45 in the last 21 balls of that game with only three wickets in hand but with the tailenders striking some lusty blows, a tie was snatched. Among other things, the Pakistan field placements have been questioned.
"There were suspicious betting patterns on a betting exchange," Ed Hawkins, author of 'Bookie, Gambler, Fixer, Spy' was quoted as saying by the newspaper. "There were some noticeable examples of this during the West Indies-Pakistan series. In the tied match, a weight of cash arrived on the tie market before Pakistan's innings."
Meanwhile, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has issued a statement on the matter, saying, "The PCB is obviously extremely concerned at the recent allegations of fixing reported in the media with regard to recently concluded ODI series between Pakistan and West Indies. The PCB maintains zero tolerance towards corruption in the game but investigations in this matter falls within the purview of the ICC's Anti-Corruption and Security Unit. The PCB is in contact with the ICC on this issue."