It’s yet another scandal for the International Cricket Council and the sport’s governing bodies in Pakistan and the U.K. to worry about, as a leading newspaper suggested two Pakistani players had helped fix a test match game against England on Sunday.
The allegations center on Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Amir, two bowlers who were reportedly paid to deliver no-balls at certain points in the match, presumably to deliver big wins to those doing live in-game betting at sports betting websites.
Pakistan team manager Yawar Saeed later met with Pakistan Cricket Board chairman Ejaz Butt later Sunday to discuss the situation, but the team will continue to fulfill its schedule abroad, with two Twenty20 and five one-day matches still to be played.
In a nice bit of investigating, the News of the World newspaper sent in undercover reporters to propose a deal with businessman Mazhar Majeed to fix the match. Majeed reportedly accepted £150,000 to have Asif and Amir bowl the no-balls.
The sport has seen a number of gambling-related scandals in recent years and internet sportsbooks have sometimes been blamed. Online gambling in India and Pakistan, two of the world’s most cricket-mad cultures, is strictly forbidden by the law. However, since most online sportsbooks in the UK have excellent coverage of cricket and offer extensive in-game betting options, the growing market of wired gamblers in these countries can certainly take their business elsewhere.