Match Fixing Allegations made by Al Jazeera
The ICC (International Cricket Council) has announced that their anti-corruption division has been tasked with investigating the claims made by Al Jazeera.
The corruption assertion has been fuelled following the screening of the second part of the so-called “Munawar Files,” the name stemming from Aneel Munawar, who has apparently correctly forecast 25 out of 26 international cricket match scenarios between 2011 and 2012.
The success rate of this individual's projections far outweighs pure chance, and if it was truly the result of match-fixing, he would had to have had willing accomplices on the field.
Had these allegations been brought about by a respected TV programme such as Panorama, they may have caused a bigger stir, but the fact that they have been brought to light by Al Jazeera somewhat lessens their credibility in some eyes. This could be partly why both the Australian and the English Cricket Boards are refuting the claims or, that simply, there is no evidence and these are just unsubstantiated claims?
Not only is there a credibility issue with Al Jazeera, but these two Cricket Boards stand to lose more than any other should the allegations be proven. Cricket is already struggling worldwide to compete with other sports, and a massive scandal bringing the game into disrepute, would not do the game any good at all.
Sports gambling is now more popular than ever. The advent of the internet, mobile devices and the latest cutting-edge apps have made placing bets on live sports as they happen, very easy. There is some big money to be won, so fixing the outcome of sporting events, whether it is cricket, soccer or American football etc., can be very profitable.
Alex Marshall who is the General Manager of the ACU (Anti-Corruption Unit) of the ICC and who is heading up the ICC enquiry, has requested that Al Jazeera share whatever evidence and information they have, with them.
In the meantime, the ICC and the relevant national cricket boards have been given lists of the players allegedly implicated. But currently, they are still refuting the claims of any illegality. Are they burying their heads in the sand?
In England, Mr Marshall has confirmed that an investigation is underway. As for Cricket Australia, they have officially announced that they take a zero-tolerance approach to anyone who tries to adversely affect the integrity of the sport. They also stated that they have full confidence in their national players protecting the game.
The outcome of the ICC investigation remains to be seen.
©Cricket World 2018