Thursday, 14 December 2017 - 11:16
Ashes series hit by ‘fixing’ bomb


Cricket chiefs launched a probe today (14) after The Sun (UK) handed over a bombshell dossier on attempts to fix the 3rd Ashes Test.
Two bookies offered to sell us details of rigged periods of play which could be bet on to win millions of pounds.
They asked for up to £140,000 to “spot fix” markets such as the exact amount of runs scored in an over.
The Indian Mr Big said: “Before match. I will tell you this over, this runs and then you have to put all the bets on that over.”
Asked if it was a good source he said: “Absolutely correct information.”
The pair said corrupt players “signal” the fix is on by making a subtle gesture on the field, such as changing their gloves.
Spotters in the crowd then tell bookies who quickly bet millions into the underground Indian market.
The pair reeled off players they say work as their “puppets”.
They also claimed to be working with a fixer in Australian cricket known as The Silent Man.
He is said to work with former and current internationals including a World Cup-winning all-rounder.
No current England stars were named as involved.
The International Cricket Council said our revelations were of “grave concern”, adding: “We take all allegations of corruption seriously and welcome The Sun’s offer to share this information.”
Cricket corruption expert Ed Hawkins added: “This is potentially disastrous for the game. The Ashes is one of the pillars of cricket.”
The Mr Big, ex-state cricketer Sobers Joban, and partner Priyank Saxena, a tobacco businessman, and bookmaker, were secretly filmed at hotels in Dubai and Delhi in our four-month investigation.
Joban said he could get players to follow “scripts” — such how many runs would be scored in a session, or an innings, when a wicket will fall and what a team would do if it won the toss.
He said: “I will give you work in Ashes Test. Session runs. Maybe day one, two, three. We have two session work, one session costs 60 lakh rupees (£69,000), two sessions 120 lakh rupees (138,000).
“If you are interested Priyank will talk to the Silent Man. If you want to go with him alright, but you will not sit in a meeting. I don’t know what he gives, script or session.
“Right now if I tell you he wants one crore (£116,000), he might want five crores (£580,000).”
The bookies also bragged they can corrupt games in lucrative Twenty20 leagues such as Australia’s Big Bash and the Indian Premier League (IPL).
They urged our investigators, who posed as financiers for underworld London bookies, to pour millions into a new Zimbabwean league where matches would be fixed.
Joban said his gang often don’t arrange fixes on the first and last matches of series to avoid suspicion.
He boasted he had carried out 17 to 18 fixes with two IPL teams.
He said the tournament, and India’s illegal betting market — valued at £1billion, had opened up the possibility of corrupting stars.
Crooked players are paid by hawala, a system which operates outside of regular banking. It involves money being transferred to an ‘agent’ who then instructs an associate in another country to transfer funds to the intended recipient.
Our reporters were told hawala agents in South Africa received funds on behalf of players there.
Mafia syndicate D Company is one of the biggest controllers of such transfers and has been linked to corruption in cricket.
Cricket expert Mr Hawkins said of our investigation:  “It’s absolutely bombshell stuff that we are talking about The Ashes in this context.  People didn’t think series as big as that would be affected by bookies.”
An ICC spokesman said: “These are serious allegations and of grave concern. Our anti-corruption unit will continue working to uphold integrity in cricket focusing on education, prevention and disruption of any attempts to corrupt, including in relation to the third Test in Australia.”
Cricket Australia released a statement on Thursday morning saying the allegations are of “serious concern”.
“The allegations raised by media outlets are of serious concern. Cricket Australia takes a zero-tolerance approach against anybody trying to bring the game into disrepute,” the statement read.
“Cricket Australia will co-operate fully with any ICC Anti-Corruption Unit investigation.
“Australian cricket has a long-standing, proactive approach to sports integrity management and Cricket Australia has a dedicated Anti-Corruption and Security Unit (ACSU) to prevent corruption within Australian domestic competitions, including the BBL.
“In addition to this, all players participating in CA sanctioned competitions, including the BBL, are required to complete an anti-corruption education session before they can compete.
“CA works closely with the ICC ACU on all international fixtures played in Australia.
“Players are able to report any suspicions they have on a confidential basis and in the past, there has been a strong Australian player culture to do so.”

 (The Sun – UK)
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