A cricket agent, representing several Pakistan cricketers, was reported to have demanded $1.2m (£768,000) from a supposed contact in India to arrange for Pakistan to throw a Test match against England last summer, a British court was told on Tuesday as some of the biggest names in Pakistan cricket, including Wasim Akram and Waqar Younis, were dragged into match and spot-fixing allegations.
Australian cricketers were described as the “biggest'' fixers who rigged “brackets'' , a set period of a match.
The court is hearing a case in which some Pakistan players are accused of taking bribes from a London-based agent Mazhar Majeed to fix games during the Pakistan-England series here in August last year.
According to the prosecution, Majeed (36) was recorded proposing to an unnamed contact in India that Pakistan players might be willing to deliberately lose their match at the Oval for $1.2 million. Eventually, Pakistan beat England.
The conversation was secretly recorded by an undercover journalist Mazher Mahmood from the defunct News of the World as part of a sting operation.
The court was told that Majeed called his “Indian contact'' on the morning of August 21, 2010 — the final day of the Oval Test — in the presence of Mahmood, and claimed it was “not a problem” to fix the match result.
Majeed was recorded telling the alleged contact: “You know what we spoke about last night, what offer can you give me for today's game? Tell me, just give me a figure now, we haven't got long. There's a possibility, I'm telling you that now, but they're talking at least $1.2m — at least.” The supposed Indian contact replied: “I give you one (million dollars). One I give you, but has to be a definite game score.”
Majeed then told the journalist who was masquerading as a businessman: “There's big, big money in results, I tell you, you can see that.”
Wasim, Waqar named
Majeed, who previously named seven Pakistan cricketers as having been involved in spot-fixing, alleged that former fast bowlers Wasim Akram and Waqar Younis also fixed matches claiming that the practice was “centuries-old''.
Even Ijaz Butt, president of the Pakistan Cricket Board and a former wicketkeeper, was alleged to have been involved.
“It's been going on for centuries. Waqar and Wasim, Ijaz, Moin Khan, they all did it. They get paid peanuts, they have to do it.
“I've been doing this with the Pakistan team now for about two-and-a-half years, and we've made masses and masses of money,” Majeed was heard saying in a video played in court.
The trial relates to three Pakistani cricketers — former captain Salman Butt and fast bowlers Mohammad Asif amd Mohammed Amir — accused of a conspiracy to fix parts of a Lord's Test match for money by bowling no-balls.
The footage of the sting operation showed Majeed accepting £140,000 from the undercover reporter and promising him that next day Asif and Amir would deliver three no-balls at specific intervals which they did.
Majeed has also named four other players in this connection — batsmen Umar Akmal and Imran Farhat; the wicketkeeper Kamran Akmal; and left-arm pace bowler Wahab Riaz.