CHENNAI : A day after Al Jazeera aired a documentary alleging that 15 international matches between 2011-2012 were subject of 26 spot-fixing claims, the International Cricket Council once again appealed to the channel to provide them with the documents for carrying out investigations. The channel also claimed that out of the 26, only one did not follow the alleged pattern, where in the scenario falls short by one run.
In a follow up to the documentary first aired in May, Al Jazeera aired another on Sunday titled Cricket’s Match-Fixers: The Munawar Files, in which it claimed that a small group of England players allegedly cheated in seven games between 2011 and 2012. The Qatar-based channel also claimed that even Australian players were involved in similar activities in five matches during the same period. It also alleged that three players from Pakistan and one from another country were involved. A match between Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe also finds mention in it.
Centre of it is Aneel Munawar, an alleged operative for the Indian D-Company, who was subject of a public appeal by the ICC’s anti-corruption unit. Apart from recorded telephone conversations in which Munawar allegedly outlines the agreed details — the number of runs that would be scored by batsmen in 10-overs — with the players and a bookmaker in India, the channel claimed that in certain matches, players from both teams were involved in fixing.
Though the documentary doesn’t mention involvement of any Indian player, what is concerning is the ease with which Munawar was able to get close to many top cricketers. There are pictures of him in the vicinity of Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Tim Bresnan, Graeme Swann and Darren Sammy.
The channel has also accused the ICC of not acting on past information against Munawar. After the first documentary was aired, the ICC, in an appeal made in August, sought public help to identify Munawar. “..the true identity of Aneel Munawar remains a mystery. He plays a significant role in the programme, yet enquiries with law enforcement and immigration sources have not identified or located him,” it said.
On Monday, the ICC maintained that it has once again requested the channel to share the documents, but those efforts haven’t yielded any positive response. Express understands that the channel was at one point ready to share the details after the first documentary was aired, but backtracked later on, which further complicated the ACU’s investigations.
Among the matches that were alleged to have been fixed, a majority of it includes England. Notable among them is England’s Test match against India at Lord’s in 2011 and their three Tests matches in UAE against Pakistan in 2012, which the hosts won 3-0. Also mentioned are England’s three matches in the 2011 World Cup against South Africa, Bangladesh and the Netherlands. Out of the three, England lost to Bangladesh in Chittagong.The England and Australian Cricket Boards have, however, rejected the allegations.