$1 bn. changed hands in a single Test, says Botham

LONDON, MAY 20. The former England cricket captain, Mr. Ian Botham, has said the malady of match-fixing is much deeper than what most people imagine.

``What has been uncovered by officials investigating the fixing of cricket matches is just the tip of the iceberg,'' the former all-rounder said.

``It's not just the players that are involved; it's a much wider network,'' he said in an interview on BBC's Panorama. With the amount of money involved, offering payments of thousands of pounds to players for information or to manipulate matches, is ``small fry'', Mr. Botham said.

``I've heard of figures of as much as $ 1 billion changing hands in a Test - one Test result - so to offer someone $ 50,000 is small fry,'' he added.

Mr. Botham's comment came amid a report in the Sunday Times on Saturday that the initial report of Lord Paul Condon, chief of the anti-corruption unit of ICC, is expected to be published this week stating that match-fixing has still not been eradicated.

The way bookies try to rig matches was highlighted by Mr. Adam Hollioake, another former England captain interviewed in the programme.