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A leading batsman under match-fixing cloud

Melbourne: After the reported involvement of Pakistani players in match-fixing, another allegation has surfaced involving a leading batsman who had to be moved up the order to prevent him manipulating Indian Premier League matches.

Indian Premier League officials verified that a leading batsman had played so suspiciously that they could not explain his behaviour.

Two IPL officials told ‘The Australian’ about the batsman, and agreed that his performances were highly suspect. They did not want him named for fear that it could lead to retribution in India.

One official claimed that the player’s performances were ‘puzzling’, particularly scoring slowly towards the end of an innings when the opposite should have been happening.

He consistently under-performed and often appeared uninterested or distracted.

The other official revealed that IPL franchise owners often complained about matches being rigged, and claimed that the player in question had to be moved up the order for the good of the team.

“He has been under the scanner for a while,” the paper quoted the official, as saying.

The issue of fixing matches came to light after ‘News Of The World’ sting showed that Pakistani cricketers collaborated with match fixers to deliberately produce no-balls at agreed times, allowing bettors to place wagers in the knowledge they could not lose.

Fast bowlers Mohammad Amir, Mohammad Asif, and Test skipper Salman Butt have been implicated but have maintained innocence, despite evidence against them. The ICC banned the three Pakistani players until the matter is resolved.

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