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English paper claims to have evidence of bookmakers in India boasting about match-fixing ring

03/11/2012 04:04 EDT | Updated 05/11/2012 05:12 EDT
LONDON - A World Cup semifinal was one of many international cricket fixtures targeted by corrupt bookmakers in India as part of a match-fixing ring involving players from several countries, an English newspaper claimed Sunday.

The Sunday Times said it has secretly filmed evidence of bookmakers on the subcontinent boasting about being able to fix the results of international matches by offering players tens of thousands of pounds.

The paper alleged bookies used an unidentified Bollywood actress to assist in the fixing ring, which claims to have recruited players from "England, New Zealand, West Indies, Pakistan, India and Bangladesh to throw part of or all of international fixtures, including last year's World Cup semifinal between India and Pakistan."

English county championship matches are allegedly being increasingly targeted because bookies claim "nobody monitors them," the paper said.

The paper said the International Cricket Council has begun an inquiry into the matter. When contacted by The Associated Press, the governing body says it routinely doesn't comment on matters that would concern its Anti Corruption and Security Unit.

In a front-page article headlined "English cricket in bung scandal," the Sunday Times said: "Corruption has grown to the point where, according to Indian law enforcement officials, it has become endemic."

It says 44,000 pounds ($69,000) has been offered to batsmen for slow scoring, 50,000 pounds ($78,000) to bowlers who concede runs and 750,000 pounds ($1.175 million) to players or officials who can guarantee the outcome of a match.

The claims come soon after three Pakistan players — Salman Butt, Mohammad Amir and Mohammad Asif — were jailed for fixing part of a test against England at Lord's in August 2010

The trio were found guilty of receiving money to ensure no-balls were bowled in the test match.

Last month, Mervyn Westfield, an English county cricketer, became the fourth player in four months to be sent to a British jail for fixing when he admitted accepting $9,500 to intentionally concede runs during an internationally televised 40-over domestic match.

Westfield was sentenced to four months in prison.

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