Time to put up or shut up over Munawar spot-fixing allegations

Rohit Sharma with Munawar

Munawar, who had been identified as a prominent match-fixer in Al Jazeera's first documentary "Cricket's Match-Fixers" that aired in May this year, is supposedly a member of the "D-Company" controlled by Dawood Ibrahim.

In the new documentary, The Munawar Files, which is a follow-up of the earlier documentary, it has been revealed that Munawar has been allegedly corrupting worldwide cricket since 2010.

"The Munawar Files" is based on some revelations by Aneel Munawar, who claimed that up to 15 worldwide matches in the 2011-12 period had been subject to spot-fixing.

Al Jazeera's investigative documentary titled "Cricket's Match Fixers: The Munawar Files" released on Sunday (October 21) further claims that Aneel Munawar has been involved in 26 spot-fixing instances in six Tests, six ODIs and three World T20 matches between 2011-12.

"I thought the programme was a little thin on solid evidence and at the end of it my gut feeling was either put up or shut up, but we have to make sure we are not very English about this and say: "It's nothing to do with us, say that about other parts of the world but not us".

Al Jazeera said it had "uncovered evidence of corruption at the highest levels of worldwide cricket", including by a "small group" of England players between 2010 and 2012, while Australia and Pakistan players are also alleged to have carried out spot-fixing.

Whether the fixers have been in operation or not before England's match - and one assumes the al-Jazeera programmes have, at least, reduced that possibility - we can anticipate England's players would prefer to see a surface more favourable to batsmen than spin bowlers when they arrive there in a fortnight's time; for purely cricketing reasons the Sri Lankans may take the alternative view.

Allegations of spot-fixing by English cricketers have been dismissed by the England and Wales Cricket Board's Integrity Team. "There is no suggestion that these players were involved in match-fixing", the report claimed. Munawar is heard saying he is sending money to the player's account.

The report adds the matches in which fixes were allegedly carried out include England versus India at Lord's, South Africa versus Australia in Cape Town and several matches during England's series against Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates.

Al Jazeera claim 25 of the 26 spot-fixes Munawar laid out in his calls took place as he predicted, in many cases with unnerving accuracy.

Cricket Australia described the claims as "contemptible".

"Cricket Australia takes a zero-tolerance approach against anyone trying to compromise the integrity of the game, and to suggest anything otherwise is unsubstantiated and incorrect", said CA chief executive James Sutherland in a statement. When considering the claims, we will work with professional independent betting analysts.

"The ICC is committed to working to uphold integrity in cricket", said ICC anti-corruption unit boss Alex Marshall.

"Analysis of this by the ECB Integrity Team has cast no doubt on the integrity or behaviour of any England player, current or former".

"Whilst the limited information we have been given by Al Jazeera is poorly prepared and lacks clarity and corroboration, it has been properly assessed", the European Central Bank said.

"We have full confidence in our players in also protecting the game, and we are working closely with the ACA to keep them informed of any developments". However, the latest pictures reveal yet another controversy that also claims Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma being involved.

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