Match-fixing menace rears ugly head in England

Match-fixing menace rears ugly head in England

County player reveals Indian businessman approached him

Soon after a local newspaper quoted an anonymous county player as claiming that an Indian businessman had approached him to fix one-day domestic matches, Shakib said he got a call on the eve of Bangladesh’s one-day series against Ireland in 2008, promising him sponsorship in return for under-performance.

A report in The Daily Telegraph said a player, who has more than 10 years’ experience in English cricket, was told by the Indian businessman to quote ‘his own price’ and ‘that things are already happening in county cricket’.

The player has reported the incident to authorities and the Professional Cricketers’ Association (PCA) would be contacting the ICC’s Anti-Corruption and Security Unit (ACU) on the player’s behalf, the report said.

“They basically told me I could name my price for providing them with knowledge of the result of the game and they made me believe other counties are already involved,” the player was quoted as saying.

The player was left with the perception that if he did not take the money, then somebody else would.“My worry with this is that there will be a situation where two of the smaller counties play against each other in a televised game and they could come to an agreement and make about five times their salary from one match.

“This problem is a lot more serious than people think. Others could be out there naming their own price. It is a scary thought,” he said.This incident came to light at a time when police are investigating two Essex players for alleged spot-fixing during last season’s Pro40 match between Essex and Durham.Essex’s Pakistani spinner Danish Kaneria and pacer Mervyn Westfield were arrested but they are out on bail now.

Talking to reporters on the eve of his side’s first Test against England at Lord’s, Shakib said he too was approached in 2008 with an offer to under-perform.“It was a long time ago, probably two-and-a-half years ago, in our home conditions against Ireland,” Shakib said.

“I didn’t talk to him much because we had a team meeting to go to, so I told him ‘I’ll talk to you later’ and immediately told a member of the Board and the ICC guy. They took action and after that he never called me again,” he said.“He never exactly told me he wanted me to fix a match, he just told me he wanted to be my sponsor,” added Shakib.