Cricket authorities accused of burying heads in the sand following allegations of England, Pakistan and Australia players involved in spot-fixing
- Al Jazeera called on ICC to explain what they know about fixer Aneel Munawar
- He is at the centre of documentary broadcast into spot-fixing aired last Sunday
- It’s claimed 15 matches had been manipulated, facilitated by a crime syndicate
- Australia board are ‘sick and tired’ of facing ‘accusations without evidence’
- Al Jazeera hit back, saying boards ‘failed to engage with the specific evidence’
Al Jazeera’s investigative unit has accused cricket’s authorities of burying their heads in the sand following allegations that players from England, Australia and Pakistan were involved in spot-fixing in 2011 and 2012.
The Qatar-based broadcasters have called on the ICC to explain what they know of Aneel Munawar, the match-fixer at the centre of a documentary broadcast last Sunday and an alleged operative of Mumbai crime syndicate D-Company.
The boards of all three countries denied claims that 15 matches had been manipulated, with Australian players’ union boss Alistair Nicholson saying the country’s cricketers were ‘sick and tired’ of facing accusations ‘without proper evidence’.
Australian players’ union boss Alistair Nicholson hit back after the documentary
But Al Jazeera’s producers have hit back, saying the boards have ‘failed to engage with the specific and compelling evidence presented in the film’.
That evidence includes the suggestion that Munawar, in recorded conversations with illegal bookmakers, correctly predicted in 25 instances out of 26 the outcome of specific passages of play, known as brackets. One firm of sports-betting analysts put the chances of him accidentally nailing all the details at 9.2million to one.
In a statement that throws down the gauntlet to the game’s authorities, Al Jazeera said: ‘We are particularly struck by what appears to be a refusal in some quarters even to accept the possibility that players from Anglo-Saxon countries could have engaged in the activities exposed by our programme.’
Al Jazeera broadcast a documentary with what they called ‘compelling evidence’
Al Jazeera say they emailed a list of questions to the ICC on September 19 but have not heard back.
The most crucial is: ‘When did the ICC first become aware of Munawar and his activities and what action has been taken?’ The documentary alleges the ICC were aware of Munawar’s activity as long ago as 2010.
Al Jazeera claim Munawar was the subject of an investigation by the BBC Panorama team which was never aired. The journalists were allegedly interviewed by Australian police but told to keep those meetings confidential.
An ICC source told Sportsmail: ‘Munawar does not feature in our current investigations into the top corrupters posing a threat to cricket, other than through the Al Jazeera programme investigation.
‘We are aware that Munawar had been previously investigated by media outlets using the same undercover team that Al Jazeera have used and that is the only way he is known to the ICC.’
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