The match-fixing cloud has once again engulfed the world of cricket, a phenomenon that has been plaguing the sport for decades in recent history.
England’s tour of Sri Lanka, scheduled for later this year, has been thrown into serious uncertainty after a ‘match-fixing’ plot was uncovered.
An undercover journalist, posing as a businessman, filmed an entire conversation between a match fixer and the groundsman at the stadium in Galle.
In the video, which has emerged from the Telegraph, it is claimed that the fixer has planned and instructed the ground staff to alter the pitch condition in such a way that a draw would be impossible.
That would then lead to profits for the fixer and his associates by placing bets against the particular outcome of the Test match.
Titled ‘Cricket’s Match Fixers’, the documentary is set to be broadcasted later tonight by Al Jazeera. It is then, the entire episode in relation to the issue would become clearer.
The England Cricket Board [ECB] now have a major task of reconsidering the tour if the matches cannot be protected against potential corruption.
Alex Marshall, head of the ICC’s Anti-Corruption Unit said: “We will take the contents of the programme and any allegations it may make very seriously," as per Daily Mirror.
An ECB spokesperson disclosed the board’s stance on the matter and further added: “The ECB are aware of the planned Al Jazeera documentary, though not the full content. We endorse the ICC’s position and fully support their work and investigations.”
England are currently hosting Pakistan at Lord’s – the venue where the sport’s most infamous fixing scandal came into limelight eight years ago.
Three Pakistani cricketers were jailed for agreeing to bowl no-balls at specific junctures of the match during that time.
Although, the scenario at the International Stadium in Galle this time around is completely different.
Players would not be required to cheat, rather the ground staff would be the one orchestrating the move by producing an unpredictable pitch.
The footage shows former cricketer Robin Morris from Mumbai, Tharindu Mendis, a Colombo based player, and Tharanga Indika, a key member of staff at Galle, apparently speaking on proceedings before carrying out the entire incident.
The undercover reporter asked when the next fix would take place, Morris replied: “England vs Sri Lanka.”
Indika revealed the timeline when it can be confirmed to the concerned parties.
Asked whether he could doctor the pitch to ensure the match does not end in a draw, he said: “Yes, I can. I can confirm it in advance one week before.”
Morris, seen in the video asking the reporter for 30 per cent of any winning bet, further stated that Indika had previously altered a pitch last July for a Test between Sri Lanka and India.
Upon revelation of the entire saga, Morris has denied any wrongdoings while Mendis did not respond for comments, whereas Indika outright refuted the allegations.