Former Pakistan batsman Hasan Raza has been filmed on camera by news channel Al Jazeera in the same room while another former cricketer – Robin Morris from Mumbai – talks about facilitating spot-fixing in T20 tournaments.
Raza does not participate in the conversation between Morris and the undercover reporter, but is seated in the chair adjacent to Morris. Raza and Morris both played for Mumbai Champs, a team in the now-defunct Indian Cricket League between 2007-08.
Al Jazeera said Raza did not respond to its allegations, while Morris “denies any wrongdoing” and said the channel invited him “to audition for, and act in, a commercial movie ‘for public entertainment’.”
Raza made his debut for Pakistan as a 14-year old in 1996, becoming the youngest man to play Test cricket. He was part of seven Tests and 16 ODIs but has not played any international cricket since 2005. Raza had greater success in the domestic circuit, with 232 first-class matches to his name, alongside 197 one-day games and 36 T20s and even took an active part in the most recent season when he played for Pakistan Television.
The Pakistan Cricket Board issued a statement on the matter on Sunday saying, “PCB and its Anti Corruption Unit is in the process of reviewing reports regarding the alleged involvement of cricketer Hasan Raza in Corrupt Conduct. Appropriate action, if any, will be taken after collecting and reviewing all relevant evidence. Till such time no further comments are made.”
In the video, part of a broader investigative documentary the channel will air from Sunday, Morris talks about setting up a T20 tournament for the purposes of spot-fixing and betting. He says that no A-grade players will be involved, but that he can bring in B, C, and D grade players. He talks of taking such tournaments from Dubai, to Hong Kong, Zimbabwe and Sri Lanka.In another location, poolside at a hotel, a person identified by Al Jazeera as Gaurav Rajkumar is seen and heard talking about organising a four-team T20 tournament in the UAE. Morris is also present during this conversation and later details how much money a corrupt player stands to make by facilitating spot-fixing in such tournaments.
Al Jazeera said Rajkumar also claimed the channel invited him to act in a movie for public entertainment.
The videos were released on the same day that Al Jazeera also alleged that a person involved in the preparation of pitches in Galle, Sri Lanka, for the Tests against India in 2017 and Australia in 2016 had tailored the surfaces according to instructions from a person involved in betting. The report also alleged that the Galle pitch for the Test against England later this year would also be made to order for betting.