Pakistan questioned by police

Man arrested as Scotland Yard investigates newspaper allegations

Last updated: 29th August 2010   Subscribe to RSS Feed

Pakistan questioned by police

Lord's: venue for the fourth Test

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Police questioned members of the Pakistan team on Saturday night after allegations of match-fixing were made in connection with the ongoing fourth Test match against England.

Sunday's edition of The News of the World has alleged that some members of the Pakistan team have been secretly paid to deliberately bowl no-balls at Lord's. A man has also been arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to defraud bookmakers.

The newspaper says it has secretly-filmed video footage of undercover reporters, posing as front men for a Far East gambling cartel, in discussion with a man who appears to accept £150,000 in order to make sure no-balls are bowled at certain times during the match.

Geo Television in Pakistan reported that Scotland Yard detectives had recovered large sums of money from players' hotel rooms and also seized mobile phones. However, Pakistan team manager Yawar Saeed denied this was the case.

"That is not correct, but we are also in touch with our high commission in London and co-operating with the police," Yawar said.

He added: "I can confirm that we are aware of the allegations and Scotland Yard police are with us now at the hotel and we are helping them with their enquiries. This is as much as I can say at the moment."

Speaking at their team hotel in north London, Pakistan bowler Mohammad Asif said: "I have spoken to the management and they have told us something happened, but not what.

"The management will tell us more later. We are 100 per cent focused on the match tomorrow."

A Scotland Yard spokeman said: "Following information received from the News of the World we have today (Saturday August 28) arrested a 35-year old man on suspicion of conspiracy to defraud bookmakers."

Test continues

In a joint statement, the International Cricket Council (ICC), the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) and the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) confirmed the game will resume on Sunday as planned.

It read: "No players nor team officials have been arrested in relation to this incident and the fourth npower Test match will continue as scheduled on Sunday.

"As this is now subject to a police investigation neither ICC, ECB, PCB nor the ground authority, the MCC, will make any further comment."

The statement added that all three bodies were assisting the police with their inquiries.

The match, the fourth in the series, had appeared well-poised before the combination of the highest-ever eighth-wicket Test partnership between Jonathan Trott and Stuart Broad and the subsequent loss of 14 Pakistan wickets left the hosts close to an innings victory and a 3-1 series win.

Turmoil

Pakistan cricket was already in turmoil prior to the latest allegations, with repeated incidents of terrorism in the flood-ravaged country resulting in the team playing all their games overseas.

The Pakistani side has been dogged by match-fixing allegations since the 1990s and there were also allegations of ball tampering during a tour of England four years ago.

Australian umpire Darrell Hair hit the tourists with five penalty runs at The Oval in 2006 and the match later became the first forfeited game in Test history after Inzamam-ul-Haq's team initially refused to take the field in protest.

In May this year the ICC's anti-corruption unit looked at Pakistan's poor performance after they were heavily beaten on a tour of Australia.

The Pakistan cricket board conducted their own investigation into the winless tour, a process which culminated in Younus Khan and tour captain Mohammad Yousuf, among others, being banned.

The latter was recalled earlier this month and is on duty at Lord's.

Last year a committee of Pakistan's parliament summoned senior figures from the team to discuss allegations that they deliberately lost a Champions Trophy match to prevent India from reaching the semi-finals.

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