tycoon Majeed, 35, has a 1.8 million home in Surrey and is a familiar face at cricket
grounds around the world. We infiltrated his criminal network posing as wealthy businessmen on the make.
Majeed turned up for our first meeting on Monday, August 16, at the Hilton in London`s Park Lane, dressed in jeans and a sweater. He immediately started bragging of his connections with the Pakistan
i team. `I manage ten of the players,` he told us. `I do all their affairs like contracts, sponsorship, marketing, everything. I work very closely with the PCB (Pakistan Cricket Board).`
Our reporters told him they wanted to organise their own Twenty20 tournament in the Middle East. Majeed claimed he would be able to provide his players for the right fee. When our man assured Majeed the players would do well out of it, he immediately said with a wink: `I know what you`re talking about because I know what goes on!`
Majeed then hinted at the extent of cheating in the game. . .
REPORTER: `If there`s two or three that are on for the other side, the betting side, then good luck - they`ll be really happy.`
MAJEED: `There`s more than two or three. Believe me. It`s already set up. That`s already there. I`m very wary speaking about this simply because I don`t know you guys. I`ve been dealing with these guys for seven years, okay? Who we deal with and how we deal with it is very, very important. This is the main thing. I`m only dealing with certain people. How we do it and what we do is very, very crucial.`
REPORTER: `You`re already dealing with another party on this matter? Give us some tips as well if you`ve got any. Happy to cut us in?`
MAJEED: `Yeah I`ll give you tips.`
REPORTER: `If there`s anything we need to know in the forthcoming match let me know. Happy to pay.`
Majeed said he was worried our men could be wearing tape recorders and he would check them out before going further.
IT`S A DEAL: Satisfied Majeed puts money
back in case
Two days later at the Bombay Brasserie India
n restaurant in central London, Majeed told us we had begun to gain his trust. He had spent the day at the Oval where Pakistan bowled England out for 233 on the first day of the third Test. After a trusted source vouched for our credentials, Majeed relaxed and laid his cards on the table. . .
MAJEED: `I do feel that I can speak to you about this, okay? Now, yes. . . there is very big money in it.`
REPORTER: `There`s still? I know there was, but they clamped down on match fixing I heard.`
MAJEED: `They`ve toned down match-fixing a lot, yeah. They`ve made it very, very difficult. These guys won`t deal with just anybody. The only reason they`ll deal with me is because they know I`m professional, they`ve known me for years.
`I`ve been doing it with them, the Pakistani team, for about 2 years. And we`ve made masses and masses of money.`
Later that night Majeed boasted how it was the players who got HIM into match-fixing. He told us: `The players would never tell anybody else. They were the ones who actually approached me about this. This is the beauty of it.
`I was friends with them for four, five years and then they said this happens. I said really?`
OVER: Majeed leaves with the cash that fixed Lord`s Test
Majeed then described how the betting scam operates. He reached into a carrier bag, pulled out a white BlackBerry phone and flicked through a series of messages.
`I deal with an Indian party,` he said. `They pay me for the information.`
Then Majeed explained how many cricket bets are placed on what he called `brackets` - events happening in a group of 10 overs.
If players score well in the first three overs punters would be likely to bet on that continuing for the next seven. But if the fixed players then deliberately STOP scoring or slow down, anybody in on it can `make a killing`, said Majeed. The same happens with bowlers giving away runs or throwing no-balls.
Not only is Majeed`s information invaluable to syndicates involved in spread betting - where wagers are staked on a range of possible outcomes - it is also gold
dust for shady bookies looking to manipulate the odds in their favour.
The following night - Thursday August 19 - Majeed demanded 10,000 then revealed to us there would be two no-balls in the following day`s Oval play.
That fix was cancelled on the day. So was a promised maiden over by captain Salman Butt on the Saturday - final day of the Test England lost. But days later - with our extra 140,000 in his hands - he delivered the promised goods at Lord`s.
Last night a Scotland Yard
spokesman said: `Following information from the News of the World we have today arrested a 35-year-old man on suspicion of conspiracy to defraud bookmakers.`
Scotland Yard officers last night visited Lord`s and the Pakistan players` London hotel. Police are set to speak to the players today.
In a joint statement issued early today, the International Cricket Council, the England and Wales Cricket Board and the Pakistan Cricket Board confirmed the Test would resume today as planned.
The statement added all three bodies were assisting the police with their inquiries, but as the matter was under investigation they would not be making any further comment.