London, Aug.1 (ANI): Identical twins Nazim and Zahid Mohammed hatched a cunning plan that they hoped would secure them victory in a cricket match, but they were exposed well in time before achieving their goal.
According to the Daily Express, the two 27-year-old brothers were last night facing a lifetime ban after they were branded cheats for switching identities hoping to stump the opposition. They were caught out and gave the game away because one was right-handed while the other was left-handed.
Right-arm bowler Nazim, playing for the Liverpool and District Cricket Competition's representative side, helped restrict their opponents of top players from the Nottinghamshire Premier League to 144 all out.
But Nazim knew his left-handed brother, who had not been selected, was a better batsman and with runs vitally important, it was Zahid not Nazim who walked to the crease after tea.
The plan backfired because their team lost the ECB President's - Trophy match at Warsop, Notts, by 17 runs with ringer Zahid, ironically, getting a duck.
Match officials failed to spot the skullduggery during the game, although opposition players had their suspicions because it is rare to see a player bowl one way and bat the other.
It was not until several days after the July 5 match that the ruse was rumbled because of gossip at the New Brighton Cricket Club on Merseyside where both players were members.
Last week details of the secret swap were discussed at a special meeting of the Liverpool and District Cricket Competition committee and both men were banned for life from representing the New Brighton club. They immediately resigned.
Andy Grice, manager of the representative side, also resigned because he felt responsible for what happened, although it was accepted he knew nothing of the brothers' trickery.
"I have never known anything like it. There are teams where people have suggested it is going on but I have definitely never heard of it at this level," League Chairman Ted Williams said.
The brothers, who are said to have business interests in Liverpool, were keeping a low profile yesterday. (ANI)