London: Skeletons continue to tumble out in the spot-fixing saga with British tabloid ‘News of the World’ revealing details of the conversations between alleged fixer Mazhar Majeed and their undercover reporter during the sting operations.
A report published in the paper said the reporter Mazher Mahmood got the tip-off in January this year when a former member of the Pakistan cricket management team told him that the England vs Pakistan series would be rigged.
He also got Mazhar Majeed’s name in January and was told that he was the fixer for the Test series in England.
However, the first meeting between the reporter and Majeed took place at the Park Lane Hilton on 16 August, the report said.
“In the plush hotel’s Podium restaurant, our team explain they are representing a business group interested in launching a new cricket tournament - and we need Majeed’s help to bring in the stars.
“The smooth fixer instantly pounces, boasting about his links to the Pakistan team. He asks if we will put up a ‘million dollars’ in prize money for the tournament and adds: All the players would be up for that. Then not only will they come to play, they actually come to win,” the report said.
The reporter then asked him to have “a word” with the Pakistani players, mentioning the possibility of betting, to which Majeed replied: “They’re cool, they’re cool”.
Asked if two or three players can be for the betting side, Majeed said, “There’s more than two or three. Believe me. It’s already set up. That’s already there.”
After the hour-long meeting, Majeed arranged for a second meeting at a restaurant at Bombay Brasserie on 18 August, the report claimed.
During the meeting, Majeed opened up more about his deep involvement in match-fixing and called Pakistan captain Salman Butt on his mobile to check possible dates for the proposed tournament.
Later Majeed had a “secret chat” with the reporter in the latter’s car, where he spilled the bean on match-fixing.
The report gave a detailed list of conversation that took place between their undercover reporter and Majeed.
During the conversation, Majeed said, “There is very big money” in match-fixing and that he “has been doing it with the Pakistani team for about two and a half years.”
Majeed said they have “made masses and masses amounts of money and that he “deals with an Indian party and they pay him for the information.”
Majeed also went on to give him examples to explain the reporter about the modus operandi of the whole business of fixing.