London: This paper can reveal evidence not put before the jury at Southwark Crown Court which was collected by officers spearheading Operation Seawell, the code name for the investigation.
They discovered texts sent by Mazhar Majeed, the agent who masterminded the conspiracy, to a global web of fixers arranging the rigging of play during two Tests against Australia and all four Tests with England. He seems directly to implicate Salman Butt and Pakistan wicketkeeper Kamran Akmal in a series of messages the judge ruled inadmissible as evidence.
Majeed tried to cover his tracks by deleting the texts but Scotland Yard detectives were able to retrieve many of them. They discovered evidence of negotiations between Majeed and fixers in Dubai, India and Britain.
The head of the International Cricket Councils anti-corruption and security unit, former Indian policeman Ravi Sawani, told the trial betting syndicates were run by mafia and underworld dons in Mumbai and Dubai who make millions from Indias illegal betting industry. The ICC is now set to launch a new investigation based on the police evidence.
Majeeds texts discuss fixing brackets — a scoring rate during a 10-over span — and pitch conditions. He also appears to call off one arrangement because Butt had been dismissed by England. All of the apparent scams occur before the Lords Test at the end of August.
One message was sent by an unknown fixer in the UK to Majeed on July 12, the day before the first Test against Australia at Lords.
The text suggests Majeed was arranging the fixing of a bracket at the start of Australias innings. It read: Bro, just spoke to Sanjay. Bowling first, they should bowl in tandem first for at least first eight overs. Give away a minimum of 47 runs, in first 10 overs please. The police believe 'they refers to Mohammad Amir and Mohammad Asif.
Five days later a suspected fixer in India, believed to be called Raj, texted Majeed about Butt becoming Test captain and asked about conditions for the second Test at Headingley. The texts read: Congratulations on the captaincy of Butt, and: What is the wicket like? Enough grass left?
The evidence then shifted to the Test series against England, which began at Trent Bridge, where Majeed sent four texts to three different fixers.
On July 29, Majeed texted Raj: It is hard to do this but they will try. Two edges gave away eight runs in first over, and: If they do it they will want to be paid. The following day Majeed texted his UK fixing contact and said: Boss, you can see they have done it.