Doha based news channel Al Jazeera conducted an 18-month investigation and a sting operation to make a documentary based on spot-fixing in the world of cricket and highlighted the growing influence of underworld kingpin Dawood Ibrahim’s D-company.
Named a global terrorist 15 years ago, the wanted don is believed to have masterminded a number of matches and spot-fixing scandals linked to ODIs and 20-over-a-side fixtures.
Al Jazeera has uncovered how Dawood is targeting the less popular world of Test cricket through his network of fixers in Mumbai and caught his operative on camera during their sting operation. Aneel Munawar, the fixer, revealed to Al Jazeera's investigative reporter how the mafia syndicate had been corrupting Test cricket for years.
"Sometimes small problems are there but we will handle it. Actually, if you have money, you will (can) do anything,” Munawar said when asked about handling the anti-corruption people in cricket boards.
He claimed to fix almost 70% of matches, the majority of which are international games. His main operation was to pay cricketers to underperform in a session of up to 10 overs in a five-day match, saying "Because (then) you have more and more chances to bet. And in the match you have only two options, lose or win."
"Those who are connected with us for last four to five years are earning per match, per team, four to ten crores,” Munawar revealed.
Al Jazeera's undercover journalist met Munawar multiple times in Mumbai before Munawar revealed how he will fix a session of India vs. England Test at Chennai in 2016.
"I will inform you after the (coin) toss. When the match starts and when the (betting) market opens. At that time, it will be finalized -- if the session will come for 20 overs or 40 overs, or ten overs. I will do it on Whatsapp," Munawar told the reporter.
He said that he got England for a price of Rs 40 lakh and the journalist was asked to pay to an intermediary. Munawar then called the middleman of the channel about a 10 over session of the match that had been fixed, before the Test started.
Al Jazeera ran Munawar's predictions by a former Interpol investigator, Chris Eaton, for his review. "It's very compelling evidence, so compelling that it's almost inevitably true what he said, clearly, that what he predicted took place exactly as he predicted," Eaton concluded.
Munawar also called up the channel before the India-Australia Test at Ranchi in 2017.
"You cannot have so many coincidences in terms of what Munawar was predicting and what occurred," Eaton said after examining Munawar's tips and the match footage.
ICC said it was taking the allegations of corruption in international cricket "extremely seriously" and has requested the Qatari news station to hand over the raw and unedited video for an investigation.
"We have been in ongoing dialogue with the broadcaster which has refused our continual requests to cooperate and share information which has hampered our investigation to date. The content of the programme, is, of course, useful to the investigation, but I would now urge the production team to provide us with all un-edited and unseen evidence they are in possession of, to enable us to expedite a thorough investigation," the ICC said.
(With inputs from indiatoday.in)