LONDON, March 11 The International Cricket
Council (ICC) is to investigate allegations that Indian
bookmakers, with the help of a Bollywood actress, have been
fixing the results of English County Championship matches and
international games, the Sunday Times reported.
The London newspaper, in a front-page article headed:
"English cricket in bung scandal" said it had evidence that tens
of thousands of pounds was being offered to players to throw
part or all of international matches, including last year's
World Cup semi-final between India and Pakistan.
It said batsmen were being offered "typically 44,000 pounds
($69,000) for slow scoring, 50,000 pounds for bowlers who
concede runs and as much as 750,000 pounds to players or
officials who can guarantee the outcome of a match".
The paper said bookies had used an unidentified Bollywood
actress to help with the fixing and stated: "So rife is
match-fixing in parts of India that cricket may be in danger of
losing its reputation as a civilised sport played by gentlemanly
"Instead it is in danger of becoming a byword for
The paper quoted one Delhi bookmaker boasting that English
county cricket was a "good new market" as it involved
"low-profile matches and nobody monitors them. That's why good
money can be made there without any hassle".
An ICC spokesman told the Sunday Times: "We are grateful for
the information you have provided and will launch an inquiry
into these serious allegations.
"Betting on cricket in the legal and illegal markets
continues to grow rapidly and, with many, many millions of
dollars being bet on every match, the threat of corrupters
seeking to influence the game has not gone away."
The allegations come after former Essex bowler Mervyn
Westfield became the first English cricketer to be jailed for
corruption after admitting that he took money to fix a match
against Durham in September 2009.
Last year, Pakistan players Salman Butt, Mohammad Asif and
Mohammad Amir were also jailed in Britain for their role in a
spot-fixing scandal concerning a Test match against England at
Lord's in August 2010.
($1 = 0.6372 British pounds)
(Reporting by Mike Collett; Editing by Clare Fallon)