Watson, Haddin were Approached by Indian Bookie: Daily

Melbourne, Aug 31 (IANS) Australian cricketers Shane Watson and Brad Haddin were approached by a suspected Mumbai gangster with links to illegal bookmakers during the tour of England last year, according to a media report.

"Watson was approached in the bar of the team's West London hotel, the Royal Kensington Garden, after the Lord's Test, and Haddin was confronted during the World Twenty20 tournament," according to a report in The Sydney Morning Herald Tuesday.

"Both players immediately reported the approaches to authorities and neither is suspected of any wrongdoing," it said.

The revelation comes in the wake of Scotland Yard investigating match-fixing allegations against the Pakistani players.

According to the newpaper report, Watson and Haddin were approached by the same man, who also sought to procure information from other international cricketers and at least one member of the media during the World Twenty20 tournament in England.

"Senior International Cricket Council sources described him as a Mumbai gangster with links to illegal bookmakers in India. The ICC's anti-corruption and security unit has begun an investigation into his dealings," the report said.

A Cricket Australia spokesman Monday confirmed approaches were made to two players during the tour of England, and to a CA official. Watson and Haddin declined to comment, the report said.

Mazhar Majeed, a players' agent, was caught on videotape accepting 150,000 pounds in cash in a sting operation conducted by The News of the World (NOTW).

Three Pakistani players -- captain Salman Butt, Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Amir -- are charged with under-performing in the fourth Test match between England and Pakistan that ended Sunday.

According to the sting operation, Majeed admitted that the betting syndicate made 830,000 pounds from the Sydney Test earlier this year featuring Australia and Pakistan.


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