Cricket Australia, ECB reject spot-fixing allegations against players

Last Updated: Mon, Oct 22, 2018 20:14 hrs
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Cricket Australia (CA) has denied all the corruption charges levied against their players by Qatar-based broadcaster Al Jazeera in its recently-aired documentaries.

The governing body asserted that they had conducted a proper review of the claims made in the documentary, but found nothing against the players.

The statement came after Al Jazeera released its second documentary on alleged corruption in cricket. The documentary claimed that around 15 international matches had been subject to spot-fixing in the 2011-12 period.

"Cricket Australia takes a zero-tolerance approach against anyone trying to compromise the integrity of the game, and to suggest anything otherwise is unsubstantiated and incorrect," quoted CA CEO James Sutherland, as saying.

"Prior to the broadcast of Al Jazeera's documentary, Cricket Australia's Integrity Unit conducted a review of the latest claims by Al Jazeera, from a known criminal source, and, from the limited information provided by Al Jazeera, our team have not identified any issues of corruption by any current or former player, including in relation to Big Bash League matches," he added.

Expressing full confidence in the Australian players, Sutherland said that they would continue to work with the International Cricket Council's (ICC) Anti-Corruption unit to ensure the integrity of the game.

"We have full confidence in our players in also protecting the game, and we are working closely with the Australian Cricketers' Association (ACA) to keep them informed of any developments," Sutherland said.

"The materials we have been given have been referred to the ICC's Anti-Corruption unit and we will continue to work with them in order to ensure the integrity of the game," he added.

Apart from bringing the international matches under the ambit of corrupt activities, the second documentary by Al-Jazeera also incriminated matches in the Big Bash League and one Test in 2016-17 where Australia hosted Pakistan.

The ECB too said that the allegations lacked credibility.

"Whilst the limited information we have been given by Al Jazeera is poorly prepared and lacks clarity and corroboration, it has been properly assessed," it said in a statement.

"Analysis of this by the ECB integrity team has cast no doubt on the integrity or behaviour of any England player, current or former."

Earlier, three Hong Kong players namely ---Irfan Ahmed, Nadeem Ahmed and Haseeb Amjad were found guilty of breaching the ICC Anti-Corruption Code and were provisionally suspended.

The allegations were related to "fixing or contriving or otherwise influencing improperly or being a party to an effort to fix or contrive or otherwise influence improperly, the result, progress, conduct" of matches.

Former chief selector of Sri Lanka Cricket Sanath Jayasuriya was also charged by the ICC for two corruption-related charges that were subsequently refuted by the former batsman.

Documentary alleges spot-fixing in 15 international cricket matches

International Cricket Council's (ICC) Anti-Corruption Unit General Manager, Alex Marshall has said that the cricket's international body is seriously combating corruption in the wake of recent corruption allegations made against it.

The ICC's comments came after Al Jazeera released its second documentary on alleged corruption in cricket. The documentary claimed that around 15 international matches had been subject to spot-fixing in the 2011-12 period.

"The ICC is committed to uphold integrity in cricket. As you would expect we will again take the contents of any allegations seriously and will investigate fully. However, I must refute the assertion that cricket does not take the issue of corruption seriously. We have more resources than ever before working to rid our sport of corruption," Marshall said in a statement.

He also urged general public to reveal data in relation to the corruption. "Anyone with any information is urged to contact the ICC Anti-Corruption Unit," he asserted.

Apprising about the steps taken so far in the matter, Marshall,on behalf of the ICC, asked Al Jazeera to share evidence with it.

"The investigation into these allegations has already commenced and will run alongside a number of other live unrelated investigations. When considering the claims, we will work with professional independent betting analysts. We have, and will continue to ask for the cooperation of the broadcaster. We have made repeated efforts to engage with the broadcaster as it can play a crucial part in the full and thorough investigation it has called for," he said.

"We do welcome the commitment to share the files with Interpol and, I hope, other law enforcement agencies who can act upon the information and support us in ridding the sport of these criminals," Marshall added. 

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