Pushed to the wall by allegations of 'spot-fixing' in the Lord's Test, the Pakistan cricket team could find itself in more trouble as reports in London [ Images ] claim that the side's players also rigged the opening Test against England in Nottingham, which the hosts won by a massive 354 runs.
According to British tabloid The Sun, Scotland Yard's Assistant Commissioner Cressida Dick was told about Pakistani players being involved in match fixing a month ago.
"... police were told a month ago about match-fixing in the England [ Images ] v Pakistan Test series. Scotland Yard's Assistant Commissioner Cressida Dick was tipped off over alleged corruption in the first match (July 29 to August 1)," the tabloid claimed.
"An intelligence source warned that several Pakistani cricketers were fixing events within the match, held at Trent Bridge, Nottingham," the report stated.
"Ms Dick, head of the Specialist Crime Directorate, was still assessing that information yesterday when a News of the World probe exposed a Pakistani match-fixing ring."
Quoting a source, the newspaper said that an informer had given "credible" information about match-fixing by Pakistan players to the police in London.
"The information given to Assistant Commissioner Dick was credible. But such an investigation would have soaked up a huge amount of resources, with no guarantee of a result," the source was quoted as saying.
"The intelligence was still being analysed to see if there was any possible way forward. It now transpires that corruption has continued.
"With what emerged yesterday and the information supplied four weeks ago, it's hard to see how people will look at cricket the same again. Millions will have been watching on Sunday wondering if it was real or not," he added.
The new revelations are bound to damage the Pakistan cricket team's reputation even more after a sting operation "exposed" 'spot-fixing' by pacers Mohammad Asif [ Images ] and Mohammad Aamir, who were allegedly paid by a bookie Mazhar Majeed to send down no balls during the lost Lord's Test against England.
Majeed was arrested on Saturday but was released on bail on Sunday night. The Pakistani cricketers implicated in the scandal, including captain Salman Butt [ Images ], Asif, Aamir and wicketkeeper Kamran Akmal, have had their mobile phones confiscated by the police.
The Independent reported on Monday that large quantities of bank notes were found in the London hotel rooms of a few Pakistan cricketers in a raid by the Scotland Yard detectives and they could be arrested on charges of corruption.