After alleging the spot-fixing scandals in cricket through a documentary, Al Jazeera has lambasted the International Cricket Council (ICC) and some national boards for giving a clean chit to their players.
As per a report in The Indian Express, Al Jazeera accused ICC of being biased towards “Anglo-Saxon” countries and also claimed that BBC didn’t publish the details of an investigation on alleged match-fixer Aneel Munawar in its show Panorama.
Last week, a report on Al Jazeera channel’s website stated that “the evidence, from 2011 and 2012, points to a small group of England players allegedly carrying out spot-fixes in seven matches; Australia players in five matches; Pakistan players in three, with players from other teams carrying out spot-fixes in one match."
Subsequently, ICC Anti-Corruption GM Alex Marshall had said: “As with the first programme we have and will continue to ask for the cooperation of the broadcaster. We have made repeated efforts to engage with the broadcaster as it can play such a crucial part in the full and thorough investigation it has called for.”
“We do welcome the commitment from the broadcaster to share the files with Interpol and, I hope, other law enforcement agencies who can act upon the information and support us in ridding the sport of these criminals,” he further added.
Al Jazeera maintains they are in discussions with Interpol and while they are open to share the details with ICC. However, they are increasingly concerned about “ICC’s ability and resolve to police” the game.
Al Jazeera has listed out a series of questions for the ICC. Two questions that grabbed the attention were – 'When did the ICC first became aware of Munawar and his activities and what action was taken?' and 'How many players, international and others, has the ICC found guilty of match-fixing or spot-fixing in the last five years?'
“We are particularly struck by what appears to be a refusal in some quarters even to accept the possibility that players from Anglo-Saxon countries could have engaged in the activities exposed in our programmes,” says a statement issued by Al Jazeera.
In particular, they targeted BBC for ruining a similar investigation on Munawar by its undercover show Panorama.
“Given the manner in which certain individuals within the media have responded to our documentary, we feel that it should be made known that the BBC’s Panorama team investigated Munawar for several years prior to 2015, although their findings were never broadcast,” the statement read. “We understand the Australian Federal Police’s Organised Crime Division was informed about the investigation and interviewed several journalists working on the story about evidence that had emerged concerning the Australian team.
“These took place in London and Mumbai and our information is that, although the journalists in question provided signed statements, they were instructed to keep their meetings with the Australian Police confidential. We believe that the events merit further probe.”
(With inputs from The Indian Express)