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Pakistan cricket betting scandal - genuine or faked?

News breaking tonight of another betting scandal involving the Pakistan cricket team and the News of the World, an English tabloid newspaper. A middle-man is alleged to have arranged no-balls at specific times in the England first innings in the current Test match at Lord's, in return for substantial amounts of money. The no-balls in question bowled by Mohammed Amir were not even close, at least a foot over, which is curious, the one for Mohammed Asif wasn't so blatant.

But is it as clear-cut as it seems? For me, it sounds too perfect. Pakistan are easy targets - they don't have a great reputation for integrity, and linking it to illegal bookmakers on the sub-continent is the perfect modus operandi as they have no licence or audit trail. People say that millions get bet on this stuff, despite all sorts of previous allegations about these markets, but there's nowhere to prove it is true or not. Was the evidence shown to anyone before the event, or did it only emerge conveniently after it?

I just find it very hard to trust anything that comes out of the News of the World, and destroying the reputation of one outstanding young bowler to increase flagging newspaper sales I do not find beyond them. Their modus operandi of catching dodgy characters (Sven-Goran Eriksson, John Higgins etc) isn't exactly a secret.

There may be more evidence to show for it and back the allegations up. How bad were the other no-balls from Amir and Asif? Is there any proof that this meeting with the fixer was actually before the events in question took place? There doesn't seem to be any footage of the players involved in this, unlike the Higgins snooker case.

IF the story is genuine, then fair play to the NotW for flushing it out.... I just think it's a bit too well put together...

Match-fixer pockets £150k as he rigs England Test at Lord's

THE News of the World has smashed a multi-million pound cricket match-fixing ring which RIGGED the current Lord's Test between England and Pakistan.

In the most sensational sporting scandal ever, bowlers Mohammad Amir and Mohammad Asif delivered THREE blatant no-balls to order.

Their London-based fixer Mazhar Majeed, who let us in on the betting scam for £150,000, crowed "this is no coincidence" before the bent duo made duff deliveries at PRECISELY the moments promised to our reporter.

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