Agent 'demanded cash for match-fix'

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The Independent Online

A cricket agent asked for $1.2m to arrange for Pakistan to throw a Test match against England, a court heard today.



Mazhar Majeed, 36, was secretly recorded discussing deliberately losing last summer's game at the Oval with a mysterious contact in India, London's Southwark Crown Court was told.

He allegedly claimed it was "not a problem" to fix the match result and referred to the number of players working with him, saying: "Boss, you know how many I've got, you know that they do it."

Majeed called his Indian contact on the morning of 21 August last year, the final day of the Oval Test, in the presence of former News of the World undercover reporter Mazher Mahmood, the court heard.

The agent is said to have told the unnamed man: "You know what we spoke about last night, what offer can you give me for today's game? Tell me, just give me a figure now, we haven't got long.

"There's a possibility, I'm telling you that now, but they're talking at least 1.2 (million dollars - £768,000) - at least."

Majeed went on: "Boss, you know how many I've got, you know that they do it. So of course that's not a problem. But you just give me the figure and I'm going to get back to you."

The Indian contact replied: "I give you one (million dollars). One I give you, but has to be a definite game score."

After the call, Majeed allegedly told the journalist: "There's big, big money in results, I tell you, you can see that."

The prosecution alleges that the agent was discussing the possibility of Pakistan deliberately losing the game.

In the event Pakistan beat England by four wickets to secure a memorable Test victory at the Oval in south London that day.

Prosecutors allege that Majeed, from Croydon, south London, conspired with Pakistan's former Test captain, Salman Butt, 27, and fast bowlers Mohammad Asif, 28, and Mohammad Amir, 19, to fix parts of the Lord's Test between England and Pakistan last August.

Butt and Asif, who are standing trial, deny conspiracy to cheat and conspiracy to accept corrupt payments.

PA