The documentary which is called 'Cricket's Match Fixers: The Munawar Files' is a follow-up to a previous documentary that was released by the same channel in May going by the name 'Cricket's Match-Fixers'. It states that "the evidence, from 2011 and 2012, points to a small group of England players allegedly carrying out spot-fixes in seven matches; Australia players in five matches; Pakistan players in three, with players from other teams carrying out spot-fixes in one match."
The matches, claimed by the documentary, to be under scrutiny include the Test between England and India played in Lord's in 2011, the Test between South Africa and Australia, staged in Cape Town in 2011, five ODIs, and three games in the 2012 World T20 in Sri Lanka.
The International Cricket Council (ICC), who had earlier sent out a public appeal to help identify Munawar has once again taken cognisance of the freshly released material and appealed to Al Jazeera to share evidence with them.
"The ICC is committed to working to uphold integrity in cricket," Alex Marshall, the general manager of the ICC's Anti-Corruption Unit, said in a statement. "As you would expect we will again take the contents of the programme and any allegations it may make seriously and will investigate fully.
"However, I must refute the assertion that cricket does not take the issue of corruption seriously, we have more resources than ever before working to rid our sport of corruption.
"The investigation into these allegations has already commenced and will run alongside a number of other live unrelated investigations. When considering the claims, we will work with professional independent betting analysts."
The documentary further states that the ICC knew about Munawar for eight years but only issued an appeal after Al Jazeera informed them of the documentary. The ICC though has refuted the claim insisting it has been seeking footage of the sting since it was first aired earlier this year but has got no cooperation from the channel.
"As with the first programme we have, and will continue to ask for the cooperation of the broadcaster. We have made repeated efforts to engage with the broadcaster as it can play such a crucial part in the full and thorough investigation it has called for," Marshall further added.
"We do welcome the commitment from the broadcaster to share the files with Interpol and, I hope, other law enforcement agencies who can act upon the information and support us in ridding the sport of these criminals."
The documentary also claims to reveal a phone call which was made by Munawar to an unnamed England player before the start of the 2011 World Cup. "Congratulations for the Ashes. The last payment is ready for going in the account. You will be credited in a week," he is heard saying to which the player supposedly replies "lovely".
The England and Wales Cricket Board called the documentary "poorly prepared" but insisted it will take the allegations very seriously and continue to work with ICC's Anti-corruption unit.
"ECB takes its responsibilities on anti-corruption and preserving the integrity of cricket very seriously," an ECB spokesperson said. "Whilst the limited information we have been given by Al Jazeera is poorly prepared and lacks clarity and corroboration it has been properly assessed.
"Analysis of this by the ECB Integrity Team has cast no doubt on the integrity or behaviour of any England player, current or former.
"The materials we have been given have been referred to the ICC's Anti-Corruption unit and we will continue to work with them, as is the correct procedure for protecting the game. We are also working closely with the PCA (Professional Cricketers' Association) and keeping them informed."
The documentary also shows photographs of Munawar and his associates hovering around players such as Virat Kohli and Sharma but the channel made it clear that there is no suggestion that these players were involved in any wrongdoing.
First Published: October 22, 2018, 7:55 AM IST