You have to hand it to Mazher Mahmood, the NotW’s legendary Investigations Editor. Over the years he has landed some huge stories and his victims include Sarah Ferguson and Sophie, Countess of Wessex. So you can just imagine how he must have been licking his lips when he heard that the Pakistani cricket team – with a long and ignoble record of corruption and bribery that seems to follow them everywhere – would be touring the UK.
The front page of today’s News of the World – and indeed every major UK news outlet today – leads with his latest story revealing how a Pakistani businessman, Mazher Majeed, took £150K from the NotW Investigations Editor in return for showing off his influence over certain corrupt Pakistani cricket players.
Video footage at the NotW website shows Mazher Majeed promising the NotW’s undercover reporter that in return for the money Pakistani bowlers Mohammad Amir and Mohammad Asif would deliver no-balls the next day during Pakistan’s match with England at Lords at precisely stated times including the first ball of the third over and the sixth ball of the tenth over. Later, events transpired exactly as Mazher Majeed had promised and the Pakistani bowlers did indeed deliver no-balls at the stated times.
It may seem like a trivial thing – after all the Pakistani players are not shown throwing away their wickets, however, the damage to the Pakistani cricket team from the NotW story will be huge because betting syndicates are known for trying to exploit just such occurences. In addition, Mazher Majeed was taped as saying that the delivery of the no-balls was only a taster of what he could get certain Pakistani cricket players to do. He said with upcoming cricket matches involving Pakistan, there was a great deal of money to be made by betting syndicates in cooperation with the Pakistani players who were working with him.
Mazher Majeed – who lives in a lovely mansion in Surrey and drives an Aston Martin (both naturally pictured in today’s NotW) – has now been arrested by the police following publication of the NotW story. The police will no doubt be interested in speaking with certain Pakistani players today too.
Last month, I wrote about how tragic it was that Pakistan – a country with millions of poor people trying to lead honest lives – was led by out and out thieves. Reports show that even official Pakistani anti-corruption officers are corrupt.
What a disaster the creation of Pakistan has turned out to be.