ICC seeks information on alleged match-fixer in Al Jazeera documentary

  • 1

ICC has put forward a public appeal to help it find one remaining suspect from the Al Jazeera documentary ‘Cricket’s Match-Fixers’ that aired in May this year. The appeal comes after ICC’s Anti Corruption Unit (ACU) has identified all the suspects in the documentary except Aneel Munawar, who was in a central role in the documentary.
The Al Jazeera sting revealed that Munawar, supposedly a member of the “D-Company” controlled by Dawood Ibrahim, informed the undercover reporter about the impending fix of the fifth Test of the India-England series, played between December 16-20 2016 in Chennai. After the toss, Munawar gave the details of the session to be fixed to middle-man Pintu. As per “session fix”, the fixers, colluding with players “guaranteed to be in the playing XI”, ascertain on a fixed number of runs that will be scored in a designated session (10-overs for the Chennai Test).
“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, said.
“However the true identity of Aneel Munawar remains a mystery,” Marshall added. “He plays a significant role in the programme, yet enquiries with law enforcement and immigration sources have not identified or located him.”
ICC said it was aware that a second documentary, which will centre around Munawar, is in the pipeline. The documentary is set to be based on “historical recordings between a fixer, suspected to be Munawar and bookies in India.”
“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,” Marshall said. “As with the first programme we have, and will continue to ask for the cooperation of the broadcaster. 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.”
The second documentary that’s being mentioned is set to be a follow-up of the first, which claimed that the India-Australia Test in Ranchi in 2017 and the India-England Test in Chennai in 2016 are among games reported to have been “session fixed”. Two Australian players and three English cricketers – names withheld in the documentary – that played in the aforementioned Ranchi and Chennai Tests were alleged to have been in contact with the bookies.
With elements building up to the release of the second documentary, Cricket Australia (CA) and the Australian Cricketers’ Association (ACA) have expressed frustration at Al Jazeera for not furnishing any evidence to support their claims against the two Australian players.
“Enough is enough when it comes to people making unsupported accusations that have the ability to unfairly tarnish players’ reputations,” Alistair Nicholson, ACA chief executive, said in a statement.
CA chief executive James Sutherland said that CA’s integrity unit had reviewed the claims made by Al Jazeera and found no issues of corruption.
“From the limited information provided by Al Jazeera our team have not identified any issues of corruption relating to current or former Australian players,” Sutherland said in a statement.
“We have handed all material over to the ICC Anti-Corruption Unit to enable them to fully investigate and we will continue to co-operate with the ICC. We urge Al Jazeera to provide all un-edited materials and any other evidence to the ICC Anti-Corruption Unit.”