Saleem Malik’s Confessions Return to Haunt Him and the News of the World a Decade Later – Part 3
Continued from here:
Following our discussion, Malik met his ICC contact in central London. The pair chatted for over an hour.
Later, Malik told us: "He is prepared to do the business. He says he wants some money in advance. He is greedy." Then Malik revealed his plans to fix England's tour to Pakistan in October.
"It will be easy for me to fix the England-Pakistan match," he said. "Do you know what kind of odds you get on an England-Pakistan match? 12-1, 8-1 (against England winning).
"We could sort out one umpire, we'll be his boss. He'll do what we say." We had been introduced to Malik by one of his friends in the Middle East, a man called Iqbal Khan. He too did not realise that the 'businessmen' who met him in Dubai were undercover journalists and unwittingly took us to his friend Malik.
"I can introduce you to the best man in the business who can fix virtually any match," he said."But I must warn you that this is a very dangerous business and you have to be very discreet. People have died in this game." Khan reeled off a list of matches he claimed had been rigged, “Basically all the tournaments in the Middle East and Asia are fixed," he said
"The England v. Pakistan match in Sharjah, when Adam Hollioake led his side to victory, was fixed by my people. England would never have won otherwise."
Until now, slippery Malik has always managed to worm his way out of trouble. Back in 1994, he was accused by Australian players Shane Warne and Mark Waugh of offering bribes to throw a match during their tour of Pakistan.
The players were later fined for selling weather and pitch information to a bookie in Pakistan. Malik completely denied his involvement in the affair. But he told our undercover reporters that he had introduced the Australian players to a bookie.
"It was just like we are today," he said. "We were sitting in a room together... but the thing about white players is you can't trust them. The b*****ds have weird minds. Just look at that mother****er Shane Warne. He grassed us up!"
Malik is also one of four players implicated in an official Pakistani judicial inquiry into match-fixing. The inquiry heard Salim Parvez, a former Pakistani cricketer, confess to having paid Malik to ensure Pakistan lost a one-day match against Australia.
The commission has copies of cheques issued to Malik during 1994 and 1995. The inquiry was expected to find Malik guilty, but two weeks ago, Pakistani high court Judge Malik Abdul Qayyum concluded there was no "planned match-fixing" by any Pakistani cricketers.
At the end of the probe, the reporter of the tabloid claim that he had enough evidence to nail Saleem Malik as well as the rest of the players and officials named in the confession by the former batsman.
However, for some reason, the report did not see the light of day, yet Malik was subsequently banned for life at the fag end of his career a few months later. It is not known if this report was the reason behind the decision. Interestingly, though, no action was taken against any ICC official or umpire as well as any other player named in this confession.
The corruption debate re-opened after a sting operation, once again led by Mazher Mahmood, nailed three Pakistani cricketers last week and these include Test-captain Salman Butt, Mohammad Amir and Mohammad Asif after they allegedly spot-fixed the Lord’s Test against England - a match the tourists lost by a record margin.