By Muhammad Asif Khan
KARACHI: Very much like the notorious spot-fixing saga of the 2010, which swallowed the careers of three promising Pakistani cricketers, another UK paper, The Sunday Times, in a bid to unearth another corruption scandal, published a secretly recorded interview of a self-proclaimed bookmaker of an Indian origin, Vicky Seth, who made a few astonishing claims about corruption in the game of cricket. Interestingly, the man who secretly recorded the bookie was none other than Mazhar Mahmood who was the centre figure in the 2010 controversy as well.
In the story published by The Sunday Times Vicky Seth, a Delhi bookie, claimed he fixed the World Cup semifinal between Pakistan and India in Mohali on March 30th last year. Vicky Seth also said that he could fix international matches as well as games in both the Indian Premier League (IPL) and Bangladesh Premier League (BPL).
The newspaper also claimed that the International Cricket Council (ICC) had taken serious notice of the development, and had already initiated a probe into the matter. However, reacting sharply to the claim, the ICC dismissed the Sunday Time’s version.
“The story carried by the newspaper, in which it has claimed that the ICC is investigating the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 semifinal between India and Pakistan, is baseless and misleading. The ICC has no reason or evidence to require an investigation into this match”, said Lorgat the ICC Chief Executive in a statement.
After all these claims and rebuttals, the Sunday Times had a latest reaction in which the paper challenged the apex body of the game again by saying that it still stood by the story.
“The Sunday Times stands by its story which raises important questions about the integrity of cricket”, spokesman for The Sunday Times said.
While challenging the ICC’s claim of not having an inquiry into the matter, the spokesman added that the ICC had actually agreed to carry out the investigation, and in the future as well, the paper was ready to share all the information it had regarding the malpractice in the game.
“Our dossier of evidence will be made available to the International Cricket Council (ICC) which has agreed to investigate the matter in full”, spokesman concluded.
The writer is a sports journalist in Pakistan, heads the sports department at News One TV & tweets @mak_asif