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Reports: Former Team India manager claims that the 2014 India-England Test in Manchester was fixed

A scandal starting to break - spotlight on MS Dhoni's peculiar decision

The 2014 Manchester Test has come under the glare – is it a scandal starting to break?

There has been a startling allegation brought against India captain MS Dhoni by a former India team manager. Sunil Dev, who was with the team in the official capacity on the 2014 tour of England, has claimed that the Manchester Test was fixed, and there were some peculiar decisions taken in the other matches on that tour as well.

"Given the conditions of the pitch due to rain, we have decided to bowl first in a team meeting but I was surprised that Dhoni opted to bat first" former manager Dev said in sting video shown to media persons in a press briefing held at Press Club of India, Delhi on Sunday.

Dev, who was assigned to the team in 2014, is currently the secretary of the Delhi Cricket Association. He said that he was 100% sure that the Manchester Test had been fixed. The expose, which is currently only an unproved accusation, was covered by Hindi daily Sun Star.

According to the allegations, Dev had been surprised that Dhoni had opted to bat first on the Manchester pitch, especially when it had been decided in the team meeting that it would be better to bowl first in cloudy conditions on the covered surface. He said that what surprised him was that Dhoni took an on-field decision after winning the toss to bat first instead.

Dhoni managed to score 71 in the match, but the rest of the Indian batting order failed to put up any resistance at all as India capitulated for 152 in only 46.4 overs. 5 players scored ducks, including Kohli. India had collapsed to 8/4, and never recovered from the blow.

The match was lost by an innings and 54 runs, and it has now been alleged that the result had not been a fair one.

Match-fixing not as easy, requires 2-3 big players involved: Justice Mudgal

Dev also said that he had informed the BCCI of his suspicions, and that former Chief N Srinivasan had also acknowledged his information. He said that he had typed out a letter of his suspicions in the former chief’s office.  

However, no action has been taken as yet. Instead, Justice Mukul Mudgal, who heads the IPL spot-fixing committee, has outrightly rejected Dev's claims, saying that he should have e-mailed the board again if there was any truth to the story.

Justice Mudgal also said that there cannot be solid evidence of match-fixing or spot-fixing, "You can have the evidence on tape that too after tapping the phone and BCCI's anti-corruption unit is not authorised to do it, only police can do phone tapping. Match-fixing is not as common as it has been highlighted and unless there are 2-3 big players is involved, it can't be done."

He also said that the questionable decision to bat first in Manchester was a valid one, because India has also opted to bat first in similar conditions in the Headingley Test and had come out on the winning side.

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