Cricket has had its fair share of its controversies over the past twenty years. The high profile ones include the Pakistan spot-fixing scandal with fast bowlers Mohammed Amir and Mohammad Asif deliberately bowling no-balls at specific points in an over against England in 2010 and South African Hansie Cronje match-fixing in India in 2000.
Embed from Getty ImagesA few years later the cricket world would be rocked with another controversy in 2018 when David Harrison, of Al Jazeera media network, released a documentary on fresh match-fixing scandals. In his documentary titled “The Munawar files”, Harrison goes undercover as a British businessman who is looking to get betting information for his British investors. On-tape, in his hotel room, he meets a man known as Aleem Munawar, a fixer based in India. Generally, the fix is not for the result but only a small period in the match with 10 overs as a standard.
How does the fixing work?
Munawar claims he has an inside business partner (fixers) in every national team with his team being able to fix 60%-70% international matches.
- So they approach the players and tell them how many runs to score in a certain period (sessions) of the match. The batsman will signal if the fix is on with one of many signals that include removing his helmet or stopping the bowler in his run-up. The batsman will under perform in the agreed session and not the overall result of the match.
- Munawar calls his bookmarker and supplies information to place bets on prearranged outcomes. The bookmarkers pay Munawar for the betting information and make money from the bets
So who is Munawar?
Munawar is an India businessman linked with a crime boss Dawood Ibrahim, a Mumbai underworld criminal mobster and drug dealer of an organized crime syndicate called the D company. He is on the worlds most wanted list by the FBI and Forbes.
Claims (and facts) from the documentary
- India vs England 2016 when Munawar provided advanced information of the result. The results were in line with Munawar’s predictions. However, ECB denied these allegations.
- South Africa vs Australia 2011 was fixed and the spot results came out as Munawar had provided.
- Third test 2017 India vs Australia when Australia players underperformed, in the documentary names are withheld for legal purposes. Again the players stated performances were as predicted by Munawar.
- Across 15 International matches from 2011-2012, seven players from England, five from Australia and three from Pakistan.
- Pitch fixing in Sri Lanka v Australia (2016), v India (2017), v England (2018).
- Pitch fixing in India v England (2016).
- Munawar personally calling an English cricketers name (withheld) during a meeting with Harrison.
- Photos of Munawar with influential cricketers suggesting his links to the players. These include Virat Kohli, Chris Gayle, Darren Sammy, Suresh Raina, and former Australian coach Andy Bichel. However, there is no evidence that Munawar approached these players.
- Several sessions were fixed in test England v Pakistan (2012) in line with the predictions by Munawar.
- Evidence that the ICC knew about Munawar in 2010.
- Phone recording of Munawar giving fixes in the 2012 cricket world cup these include England vs Afghanistan. The outcome was as Munawar suggested.
- Phone recording of Munawar calling an English player about a payment just before the 2011 One Day International world cup.
- Phone recording of a fix between England and South Africa in the 2011 ODI world cup. The predictions were accurate.
Reaction from cricket boards
Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) would go into instigating the claims on the accused groundsman.
Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) would go into investigating and announced that they would take legal action against the accused.
Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) would go to investigate and would ban Hasan Raza to take part in the 2018-19 Quaid-e-Azam Trophy.
Cricket Australia denied all allegations.
England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) denied all allegations.
Watch the documentary here: