London: Jurors in a
London Crown Court were told that cricket betting syndicates were
controlled and orchestrated by "shadowy figures" based in Dubai,
Mumbai, London and Karachi and some $50,000 billion was gambled
away in the Asian subcontinent alone on matches played around the
world and beamed live on satellite television.
Aftab Jafferjee, a Queen's Counsel appearing on behalf of the
Crown Prosecution Service, said that even if that figure was
reduced by a tenth it "not unsurprisingly makes 'spot' fixing and
match fixing irresistible to some", reports the Telegraph.
The agent of accused Pakistani cricketers Mazhar Majeed had told
an undercover reporter that fixing the outcome of a Test match had
been achieved in the past and could be arranged for a fee of 1
He also said a Twenty20 result would cost 400,000 pounds and a
bracket of 10 overs, when scoring patterns are used in spread
betting, cost 50,000-80,000 pounds to arrange.
On the first full day of the trial of former Pakistan captain
Salman Butt and fast bowler Mohammad Asif in London's Southwark
Crown Court, Jafferjee said the betting industry developed in the
1990s and bets are taken out seconds before the event with
"breathtaking" amounts involved in illegal betting.
"This case reveals a depressing tale of rampant corruption at the
heart of international cricket, with key players being members of
the Pakistan cricket team," Jafferjee said.
Butt and Asif deny conspiracy to cheat and conspiracy to accept
corrupt payments between Aug 15-29 last year, with the case
centering on the fourth Test at Lord's.
The third accused, teenage fast bowler Mohammad Aamir, and Majeed,
who is charged with being the middleman in the alleged plot, are
not required to appear in court.
Transcripts of conversations between Majeed and a reporter from
the now defunct News of the World revealed the agent as saying:
"I've been doing it with them for about two-and-a-half years and
we've made masses and masses of money."
Majeed also told the reporter fixing when a no-ball would be
bowled is "easy" and costs "10,000 pounds each".
The three players are accused of receiving money to ensure
no-balls were deliberately bowled at a specified time in the
"It is the prosecution's case that ... each of them was well at
it, the two bowlers (Asif and Aamir) being orchestrated by their
captain (Butt) and the captain's agent, Majeed, to bowl three
no-balls at a prearranged point in the game," Jafferjee said.
Jafferjee said the fixing was orchestrated "at the expense of the
integrity of the game".
He said the men had "contaminated" the games and "their activity
represents a betrayal by them of their own team, their own Board
of Cricket and most damaging of all a betrayal of the sport of
cricket itself -- and all for greed".