A sports agent told an undercover reporter he could fix the results of cricket games using a stable of six Pakistani players, with a Test match costing �1 million to rig, a London court heard Monday.
Can you hear me: Mohammad Asif outside the Southwark Crown Court in London recently. PIC/AFP
The claim emerged as Mazher Mahmood, the former investigations editor for Rupert Murdoch's now-defunct News of the World tabloid, gave evidence at the trial of ex-Pakistan cricket captain Salman Butt and fast bowler Mohammad Asif.
In video shown to Southwark Crown Court, the agent, Mazhar Majeed, was heard alleging that Australian players and some of the biggest names in Pakistani cricket history were prepared to fix parts of matches.
The video was secretly filmed inside a car as the agent and the reporter, who was posing as an Indian frontman for a Far East gambling syndicate, met on August 18 last year on the first day of Pakistan's Test against England at The Oval.
First Majeed said he would give the journalist proof of his influence by arranging for two no-balls to be bowled, for a fee of �10,000 each, then said a "deposit" of �150,000 was required for further activity. He detailed how to arrange a "bracket", where bets are made on incidents during a given period of play.
"I will give you a bracket for the following day... In terms of a deposit it is going to be �150,000 minimum," the agent could be heard saying. Earlier, the court heard a separate audio recording of a meeting between Mahmood and the agent earlier the same day in a restaurant.
Naming famous former Pakistan national cricketers, the agent said in the recording: "It's been happening for centuries. It's been happening for years. Wasim, Waqar, Ijaz Ahmed, Moin Khan -- they all did it." Majeed went on to allege that Australian players would fix "brackets".
"The Australians, they are the biggest. They have 10 brackets a game," he said. He said the cost to arrange a "bracket" could be between �50,000 and �80,000 ($78,000 and $125,000). "For a result, Twenty20 is about �400,000 and Test matches, depending on the situation, is about �1 million," he added.