International cricket was hit by fresh spot-fixing claims after a shocking revelation released by Qatari based news channel Al Jazeera. Earlier this year, the news channel had released a documentary exposing bookie Aneel Munawaar, who explained the process of spot-fixing and made some scandalous revelations.
However, further investigation has opened a can of worms. If the reports from the channel's website are to be believed, it is learned that cricketers from Australia, England and Pakistan were involved in a major spot-fixing scam and it proves that corruption is prevalent among the highest levels.
A report on Al Jazeera channel's website stated that "the evidence, from 2011 and 2012, points to a small group of England players allegedly carrying out spot-fixes in seven matches; Australia players in five matches; Pakistan players in three, with players from other teams carrying out spot-fixes in one match.
The channel's report further claimed that the matches in which fixes were allegedly carried out included an England-India encounter at Lord's Cricket Ground, a South Africa-Australia match in Cape Town and several games during England's series against Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
"The files suggest that the suspected fixes were usually carried out by batsmen who agreed to underperform. Some of the world's most famous players were batting when the fixes allegedly occurred. Many of the matches appear to include multiple fixes, making a total of 26 fixes in the 15 matches," said the report.
The channel claimed that its dossier includes photographs of Mumbai-born Dubai based alleged match-fixer Aneel Munawar and his associates hovering near, and purportedly talking to, international cricket players such as Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, and Umar Akmal during the T20 World Cup in Sri Lanka in 2012. But the channel made it clear that there is no suggestion that these players were involved in any wrongdoing.
The ICC has been seeking footage of the sting carried out by the channel since it was first aired earlier this year. However, it claims to have got no cooperation from the channel. But the ICC refuted the "assertion" that it does not take corruption in the sport seriously and once again questioned the broadcaster's refusal to share the raw footage.
"As with the first programme we have and will continue to ask for the cooperation of the broadcaster. We have made repeated efforts to engage with the broadcaster as it can play such a crucial part in the full and thorough investigation it has called for," ICC Anti-Corruption GM Alex Marshall said in a statement.
"As you would expect we will again take the contents of the programme and any allegations it may make seriously and will investigate fully. However, I must refute the assertion that cricket does not take the issue of corruption seriously, we have more resources than ever before working to rid our sport of corruption," Marshall said.
"The investigation into these allegations has already commenced and will run alongside a number of other live unrelated investigations. When considering the claims, we will work with professional independent betting analysts."