In order to find out the “true identity” of suspected match-fixer Aneel Munawar, the International Cricket Council (ICC) has hired a betting analysis company. It will probe Munawar's claims of having fixed Test matches in a TV sting operation earlier this year.
“Based on what we already know, we have engaged the services of an independent betting analysis company to examine the claims made about particular matches,” the ICC said in a statement.
Munawar was seen in a sting operation conducted by the Doha based channel Al Jazeera. In the hour-long documentary, he had claimed about fixing sessions in three Test matches involving India.
The three Test matches which are in question are – India versus Sri Lanka (Galle, July 26-29, 2017), India versus Australia (Ranchi, March 16-20, 2017) and India versus England (Chennai, December 16-20, 2016). India had won the Tests against Sri Lanka and England, while the one against Australia was drawn.
The charges were made that the pitch could have been doctored at the order of fixers (India vs Sri Lanka) whereas the involvement of some Australian and England players have surfaced in spot-fixing in the other two games.
Subsequently, ICC’s Anti Corruption Unit has carried out investigations and has been “able to discount a lot of claims” made by Munawar in the documentary. However, the law enforcement agencies are yet to trace his identity and whereabouts.
“We have identified every other person in the original documentary and have spoken to a number of them in connection with match-fixing, including those who are not deemed to be participants under our Anti-Corruption Code,” Alex Marshall, General Manager ICC ACU, quoted as saying by ICC.
“However the true identity of Munawar remains a mystery. He plays a significant role in the programme, yet inquiries with law enforcement and immigration sources have not identified or located him,” he added.
The governing body of cricket had been constantly urging the channel to provide information and raw footage but it alleges that they are not co-operating adequately into its probe.
“The absence of any co-operation from the broadcaster has slowed the investigation, but to date, we have made good progress in identifying people of significant interest including people already of interest to the ACU. We have been able to discount a number of claims made in the programme and continue to pursue other aspects. We will provide a full update at the conclusion of the investigation,” Marshall said.
“We are aware that there is a second documentary in the offing, this time based on historical recordings between a fixer, suspected to be Munawar and bookies in India. As with the first programme, we will investigate any claims made in a full and thorough manner and we take any allegations of corruption, historical or contemporary, extremely seriously,” he explained.
Marshall once again requested Al Jazeera to co-operate them in the investigation by sharing the raw footage.
“Access to the raw, unedited footage enables us to build a complete picture around the claims in the documentary and ensure our investigation is as fair and thorough as possible,” he concluded.