Time to put up or shut up over Munawar spot-fixing allegations | Vic Marks

Every time the documentary seems to be getting to the nitty-gritty, the names of those claimed to be conniving with cricket’s spot-fixers are withheld

The most recent al-Jazeera documentary on spot-fixing in cricket is to be welcomed but it remains a source of frustration as well. The scope to manipulate a game of cricket for betting purposes has been with us for two centuries or more and any reminder of that is a useful deterrent. But we crave more hard facts than the “unsupported allegations” referred to by David Leatherdale, the chief executive of the Professional Cricketers’ Association who confirmed on Monday “the [English] players refute all allegations and have the full support of the PCA”.

This latest documentary expands on “the Munawar Files” and alleges how Aleem Munawar, a fixer based in India whose whereabouts are unknown, has been able to arrange patterns of play in international matches to allow surefire betting success for his clients. Generally this involves batsmen going surprisingly slowly during a given period of play, usually of 10 overs. As a consequence there is now the depressing possibility that whenever we catch a batsman removing his helmet or stopping the bowler running up to the wicket he may, in fact, be signalling the fix is on.

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