Doha based Al-Jazeera channel’s documentary on corruption practices in cricket claimed that three Test matches involving the Indian Cricket team were also fixed in the last two years.
Al Jazeera shared exclusive footage with Hindustan Times that shows a Mumbai-based former Indian first-class cricketer, an Indian advertisement executive based in the UAE and members of the D-Company use their ‘connections’ in the cricket establishment and even in the International Cricket Council (ICC) to rig the outcomes of matches.
Journalist David Harrison, who conducted the sting operation suggested that international players- Pakistan’s Hasan Raza (youngest to play a Test match) and three Sri Lankan internationals – Dilhara Lokuhettige, Jeevantha Kulatunga, and Tharindu Mendis – were involved heavily in either spot-fixing or doctoring the pitch to force a result within a specific number of days.
The curator of Galle International Stadium, Tharanga Indika, also admitted to doctoring pitches. The documentary suggests that two matches – Australia losing a Test in just 2 and half days in August 2016 and India amassing 600 plus runs in a Test in July 2017- were played on fixed pitches and the matches were scripted by match-fixers.
India versus England Test played in Chennai (December 16-20), the India versus Australia Test in Ranchi (March 16-20, 2017) and the Galle Test between India and Sri Lanka (July 26-29, 2017) were influenced by bookmakers, says the documentary titled ‘Cricket’s Match-Fixers’.
However, No Indian cricketers were found to be involved in any kind of wrongdoings.
Investigations suggest that at least two Australian cricketers were involved in Ranchi and three Englishmen fixed sessions in Chennai. While the England players have denied these charges, the Australians have not reacted at all.
“We have already launched an investigation working with anti-corruption colleagues from Member countries based on the limited information we have received. We have made repeated requests that all evidence and supporting materials relating to corruption in cricket is released immediately to enable us to undertake a full and comprehensive investigation,” the ICC said.
“Each script I will give you will happen, happen and happen,” Aneel Munawar, a member of the D-Company tells Harrison. Harrison posed as a businessman and met many stakeholders in Dubai, Mumbai, UAE and Sri Lanka.
Robin Morris, a former Indian first-class cricketer, is seemingly in the center of the multi-million dollar fixing operation.
“I have a set of 30 players who will play what I tell them to do,” says Morris. His business partner, Gaurav Rajkumar, adds: “We don’t care about the entertainment as long as we are making our money.” The extent of control of match-fixers can be determined from the fact that “60-70 percent matches can be set.”
On being asked to react to the documentary sting operation, Morris said, “I have been fabricated in this; there is no truth in this and I have nothing to do with the Galle Test.”
“All these things must be done before the ICC officials come in,” says the Lankan official who adds that there are still ways to tamper with the pitch when a match is underway. “Like extra pressure on the special brush can damage the pitch,” says the curator.