Australia, England reject cricket fixing as probe launched

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SYDNEY, Oct 22, 2018 (BSS/AFP) – Australia and England Monday rejected
fresh allegations about corruption in cricket by television news channel Al
Jazeera, which claimed there had been 26 spot-fixing incidents in 15
international matches.

In a follow-up documentary to one aired earlier this year, the Qatari-
based broadcaster reported on Sunday that a small group of England players
allegedly cheated in seven games between 2011 and 2012.

It claimed Australian players were similarly involved in five matches over
the same period, Pakistan players in three and players from other,
unidentified, teams in one match.

“In some cases, both teams appear to have delivered a fix,” it said,
pointing to purported recordings of a match-fixer calling in the fixes to a
notorious Indian bookmaker linked to organised crime.

It alleged that the suspected fixes were usually carried out by batsmen
who agreed to underperform.

Among the matches cited were England against India at Lord’s, South Africa
versus Australia in Cape Town, and several games during England’s series
against Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates.

The International Cricket Council said it had launched an investigation
and would work with professional independent betting analysts.

“The ICC is committed to working to uphold integrity in cricket,” said the
head of the governing body’s anti-corruption unit Alex Marshall.

“As you would expect we will again take the contents of the programme and
any allegations it may make seriously and will investigate fully.”

The ICC also launched a probe after the original Al Jazeera documentary
and in August Marshall said “we have been able to discount a number of claims
made in the programme and continue to pursue other aspects”.

That documentary alleged corruption among Australia and England players in
games in 2016 and 2017.

Those claims were dismissed by both countries, with the latest documentary
sparking a similar response from Cricket Australia and the England Cricket

“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,” CA chief executive James Sutherland said

“We have full confidence in our players in also protecting the game.”

Prior to the latest broadcast, CA’s Integrity Unit conducted a review of
the claims, which it said came from a “known criminal source”.

“From the limited information provided by Al Jazeera, our team have not
identified any issues of corruption by any current or former player,” said

The ECB was also adamant that the claims 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.”

BSS/AFP/MSY/0840 hrs