The disappearance of Zulqarnain Haider from the Pakistan team hotel in Dubai and his subsequent appearance in London has so far provided more questions than answers. We know that he alleges to have received death threats if he didn't help fix matches in the recent ODI series with South Africa, but we don't know the identity of any other players who may or may not have been involved.
One story that has emerged however, is that Zulqarnain confirmed that he had also been asked to include certain players in the Lahore Eagles side he has captained in domestic cricket.
This admission has refocussed attention on a match that would appear to be one of the most blatantexamples of a fixed match we have ever seen - the match between Haider's Lahore Eagles and a National Bank of Pakistan side (see scorecard) featuring a certain Salman Butt, Mohammad Aamer and Kamran Akmal during the Royal Bank of Scotland Cup in 2008-09.
NBP needed to win and drastically improve their net run rate to qualify for the semi-finals. Haider was relieved of the captaincy before the match despite having been captain for the rest of the tournament, and his side batting first made only 122 in just over 40 overs.
Now here is where the plot thickens. Firstly, Lahore opened the bowling with a debutant named Usman Sarwar, who conceded an amazing 78 runs in just three overs and who hasn't played another List A game since. This enabled NBP to chase down their total in only 6.1 overs with Butt scoring 92 not out off only 25 balls - even Virender Sehwag has never got near that strike rate.
You don't need to know anything about cricket to sense that something smells a bit fishy here. That is unless you are the PCB, who despite media reports to the contrary said it had found nothing untoward about the match. Why, does that not surprise us?