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Man bailed over Test fixing claims

The man at the centre of match-fixing allegations involving the Pakistan cricket team has been bailed without charge, police said.

Mazhar Majeed, 35, was arrested on Saturday as officers investigated claims that reporters paid a middleman £150,000 in return for exact details relating to play during the Lord's Test match.

Four Pakistan players, including captain Salman Butt, gave statements to police over the allegations.

In a statement, Scotland Yard said Mr Majeed had been bailed to appear before police at a future date. The allegations centre on the timing of "no balls" delivered during the game.

Pakistan team manager Yawar Saeed said bowlers Mohammad Aamer, Mohammad Asif and wicket keeper Kamran Akmal were the other players questioned by police. Butt, Asif and Aamer had their mobile phones confiscated by authorities as part of the investigation, he added.

The claims caused shockwaves across the sporting world with pressure mounting on the Pakistan Cricket Board to act following the latest in a string of match-fixing allegations to dog the team since the 1990s.

Players and fans were united in their anger, with Lord MacLaurin, former chairman of the England and Wales Cricket Board, calling for any players guilty of "spot fixing" to be banned for life.

Undercover reporters from the News of the World allegedly paid a middleman £150,000 and in return were told exact details relating to play during the following day. The paper said it was able to buy its way into a match-fixing ring by posing as Far Eastern businessmen. The reporting team claims it was told exactly when three no balls would be bowled during the current Test.

Khan told BBC News if the allegations are true "it's probably the biggest setback for Pakistani cricket".

He said people in Pakistan were stunned by the latest allegations and felt "extreme disappointment" and embarrassment: "People were deeply upset, demoralised."


From Belfast Telegraph