Meet the man behind the fixing saga. Hindustan Times brings you his take on fixing, Pakistan players & more...cricket Updated: Aug 31, 2010 00:29 IST
Meet the man behind the fixing saga. Hindustan Times brings you his take on fixing, Pakistan players & more...
Mazhar Majeed, the Pakistani cricketers’ confidant.
Mazhar Majeed, the man at the centre of the spot-fixing controversy, is a familiar figure at cricket grounds around the world. It is among the higher echelons of the game in Pakistan that the UK-based property tycoon, who was last night releasaed on bail, appears to have gained the most influence.
The 35-year-old and his brother and business partner, Azhar Majeed, claim to manage several of Pakistan's leading players and have contacts with senior figures in the Pakistan cricket board. According to CricInfo the pair first became friendly with the country's young stars during Pakistan's last tour of England, in 2006.
Since then Majeed appears to have cemented his role as the players' go-to man in the financially lucrative world of sponsorship deals and marketing opportunities.
According to the News of the World, Majeed lives in a £1.8m house in Croydon, south London, and runs a property company, Bluesky Developments, with a multimillion-pound portfolio. Its website confirms Majeed set up the business in 1999 and on its front page it carries an advert for a charity event in “conjunction with the Pakistan cricket team” from 2007.
His role as confidant to the players is underlined on the UK-based website Pakpassion.
Several leading players mentioned Majeed or his brother during interviews with the site, and CricInfo says between 2008-09 the site had a regular section called The Agents Views, in which Azhar would update readers on the activities of a number of players.
This increasingly close relationship between Majeed and the players appears to have rung alarm bells with the Pakistani authorities and at the start of the tour the players were told they were no longer allowed to have agents in their hotel rooms.
His conversation with under-cover reporter
Majeed: ”There’s no risk, there’s no signal. These three are definitely happening. They’ve all been organised, okay? So, the first ball of the third over of the innings, yeah.
“Asif and Amir are going to be bowling. Amir is to bowl the first over (meaning he will also bowl the third), yeah?
“Okay? Then the tenth, the last ball. . . sixth ball of the tenth over.”
Reporter: “The tenth over. Who’s bowling it?”
Majeed: “Asif will be bowling it.”
And, as promised, on the FIRST ball of the THIRD over to opening batsman Alastair Cook Amir overstepped the white line marking his bowling crease by a huge margin.
Seven overs later, yet more disgrace was heaped on the game, as 27-year-old Asif also overstepped the crease on the LAST ball of the TENTH over.
Play was abandoned due to bad light and rain at 5.45pm so the third no-ball promised by Majeed didn’t happen.
On fixing no-balls
Just to show you it’s really OK, I’m going to show you two no-balls tomorrow. Then you just pay as I said minimum for that, OK. Just £10,000. I’m telling you big money can be made.”
On upcoming ODIs and T20s
One days and Twenty20s are about to start and we’re going to be making a hell of a lot money. We’ve got one result already planned and that is coming in the next three-and-a-half weeks. Pakistan will lose
Call to Pak skipper Salman Butt
Boss, just stick to what we said last night OK? The first full over you play, you just make sure you play a maiden, OK? After the second ball, just go and tap the middle of the pitch as a signal
On Sydney Test
Let me tell you the last test we did. It was the Second Test against Australia in Sydney. Australia had two more wickets left. They had a lead of ten runs, yeah. And Pakistan had all their wickets remaining. The odds for Pakistan to lose that match, for Australia to win that match, were I think 40-1. We let them get up to 150 then everyone lost their wickets. That one we made 1.3. But that’s what I mean, you can get up to a million. Tests is where the biggest money is because those situations arise.”
On Pak-Lanka game in Asia Cup
Yeah, it all comes through me. We don’t do results that often. The last one we did was against Sri Lanka in the Asia Cup which was about two months ago
On money made by fixing spots & results
The results, like brackets, we charge anything between £50,000 (R 3,62,4293) and £80,000 (R 5,797,929) per bracket. And for results, T20 is about £400,000 (R 28,987,930). No-balls is easy. You could probably get up to £10,000 (R 724,633) each. But in terms of results, depending on who we are playing, sometimes it can be £300,000 (R 21,740,526). The max it can be is £450,000 (R 32,610,697).
On Pak cricketers
You’ll find there’s only a few players who are genuine and who are actually here for the love of the game and there’s not many believe me. A lot of them are just looking for money, women and food.
They make money and they need to make money. The problem is if they don’t, then they’re not going to have enough money for the rest of their lives. In cricket there’s not enough money.
How much they’re getting paid is a joke. I came from a football background and I can see the difference in football and cricket. It’s huge.
First Published: Aug 31, 2010 00:25 IST