Still trying to figure out the “true identity” of alleged match-fixer Aneel Munawar, the International Cricket Council (ICC) has hired a betting analysis company to investigate his claims of having fixed Test sessions in a recent TV sting operation. “Based on what we already know, we have engaged the services of an independent betting analysis company to examine the claims made about particular matches,” the ICC said in a statement.
Munawar was seen in a sting operation conducted by the Al Jazeera channel but the law enforcement agencies are yet to trace him. The ICC’s Anti Corruption Unit has carried out investigations and has been “able to discount a lot of claims” made by the channel during its hour long documentary, which also featured small time Indian domestic cricketer Robin Morris and former Pakistani batsman Hasan Raza.
In the documentary, Munawar was seen making claims about fixing sessions during two Test matches involving India, including one against Australia in Ranchi during the 2017 series. The ICC statement comes in the wake of Al Jazeera’s announcement to air a second installment of the documentary featuring Munawar.
Alex Marshall, General Manager ICC ACU, said: “We have identified every other person in the original documentary and have spoken to a number of them in connection with match fixing, including those who are not deemed to be participants under our Anti-Corruption Code.”
However, Marshall said law enforcement agencies are yet to ascertain Munawar’s identity and whereabouts. “…the true identity of Munawar remains a mystery. He plays a significant role in the programme, yet enquiries with law enforcement and immigration sources have not identified or located him.”
The ICC had been constantly requesting the channel to provide information and raw footage but it alleges that there hasn’t been any co-operation from their end. “The absence of any cooperation from the broadcaster has slowed the investigation, but to date we have made good progress in identifying people of significant interest including people already of interest to the ACU.
“We have been able to discount a number of claims made in the programme and continue to pursue other aspects. We will provide a full update at the conclusion of the investigation,” Marshall said.
“We are aware that there is a second documentary in the offing, this time based on historical recordings between a fixer, suspected to be Munawar and bookies in India. “As with the first programme, we will investigate any claims made in a full and thorough manner and we take any allegations of corruption, historical or contemporary, extremely seriously.”
Marshall once again urged Al Jazeera to share the raw footage. “Access to the raw, unedited footage enables us to build a complete picture around the claims in the documentary and ensure our investigation is as fair and thorough as possible,” he said.