FIVE Australian cricket matches have been fixed, according to a bombshell report into match fixing in the sport.
Cricket Australia two months ago effectively cleared Australian players of any wrongdoing surrounding a report earlier this year which linked two unnamed Australian cricketers to corruption claims.
Al Jazeera on Monday morning (AEDT) published a second series of allegations against cricketers around the globe, claiming 15 matches from January, 2011, through to September, 2012, were fixed.
Australia played in five of the matches alleged to have involved moments of spot fixing.
Cricket Australia chief executive James Sutherland said in a statement that the Al Jazeera claims are “unsubtantiated and incorrect”.
“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,” Sutherland said.
“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.
“We have full confidence in our players in also protecting the game, and we are working closely with the ACA to keep them informed of any developments.”
Sutherland again publicly called for Al Jazeera to turn over any evidence of spot fixing to the ICC anti-corruption unit.
The Al Jazeera documentary claims to have video evidence of an alleged fixer discussing spot fixing with at least one international player ahead of the 2011 World Cup in Sri Lanka.
Cricket Australia has called for any evidence to be handed over to the ICC.Source:Supplied
The report, which also accuses at least one unidentified England player of corruption, claims there were 26 spot-fixing attempts across the 15 matches. 25 of the spot-fixing attempts were successfully executed, the report claims.
The Al Jazeera report claims there were some matches where players on both teams attempted to fix periods of play.
The spot-fixing plots reportedly surrounded fixing periods of matches to allow bookmakers to know the number of runs scored in periods ranging from six overs to ten overs.
It is the second time Australia has been identified in Al Jazeera’s investigation into cricket match fixing.
The second documentary released on Monday morning identifies three Australian ODI matches and two test matches as matches to have been marred by spot-fixing.
The Al Jazeera report also centres around high-profile England matches, including the 2011 Lord’s Test between England and India.
The recordings aired by Al Jazeera also claim to show a conversation between an alleged match-fixer and an English cricketer where payments are discussed.
“Congratulations for the Ashes. The last payment is ready for going in the account. You will be credited in a week,” the English cricketer is told during the documentary.
Spectators watch the 2011 Cricket World Cup.Source:AFP
ICC anti-corruption unit boss Alex Marshall responded to the documentary’s allegations on Monday by re-stating that the spot-fixing allegations made in the second documentary were already under investigation.
“The ICC is committed to working to uphold integrity in cricket. As you would expect we will again take the contents of the program and any allegations it may make seriously and will investigate fully,” Marshall said.
“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.”
Australian Cricketer’s Association chief executive Alistair Nicholson said Aussie cricketers are “sick and tired” of the “unsubstantiated” claims being made public.
“As I said two months ago, enough is enough when it comes to unsupported accusations which unfairly tarnish players reputations,” Nicholson said.
“The players are sick and tired of being subject to accusations, without the proper evidence to substantiate it.”
The England and Wales Cricket Board also released a statement in the wake of the documentary’s release.
“ECB takes its responsibilities on anti-corruption and preserving the integrity of cricket very seriously,” the statement said.
“Whilst the limited information we have been given by Al Jazeera is poorly prepared and lacks clarity and corroboration it has been properly assessed. “Analysis of this by the ECB integrity team has cast no doubt on the integrity or behaviour of any England player, current or former.
“The materials we have been given have been referred to the ICC’s anti- corruption unit and we will continue to work with them, as is the correct procedure for protecting the game.
“We are also working closely with the PCA (Professional Cricketers’ Association) and keeping them informed.”
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