Aussies to be quizzed over spot-fixing
THE International Cricket Council (ICC) is reportedly set to interview the Australian and English cricketers alleged in an undercover investigation to have been involved in spot-fixing.
In an Al Jazeera documentary aired on the weekend, criminals sensationally claimed they had paid two Australian batsmen to fix part of a Test against India in Ranchi last year.
It was alleged they were paid to bat slowly during a period of play.
In the program, the names of the Australian stars named were bleeped out.
On Monday Australian captain Tim Paine strongly denied any of his teammates were involved in anything suspect, and prior to that Cricket Australia had slapped down the allegations as being "not credible".
The ICC will reportedly follow up on the as yet unproven claims with its own investigation into the matter, which also involves three unnamed England players, according to The Guardian.
Officials from cricket's governing body will meet with the Qatar-based broadcaster this week after asking to be provided with unedited footage of Al Jazeera's investigation. Following that, the ICC is expected to interview those Australian and England players embroiled in the accusations.
The match-fixers who boasted about getting to Australian stars are the same people who claimed to have corrupted a Sri Lankan groundsman into preparing a pitch that would ensure a Test during the Aussies' 2016 tour would not end in a draw.
Cricket Australia chief executive James Sutherland said there is no credible evidence linking Australian players to corruption but would co-operate fully with the ICC investigation.
"The ICC has now had the opportunity to view the documentary into corruption in cricket and as we have previously stated, we are taking the contents of the program and the allegations it has made extremely seriously," Alex Marshall, general manager of the ICC's Anti-Corruption Unit, said in a statement.
"A full investigation led by the ICC Anti-Corruption Unit, working with full co- operation from all member countries identified in the program, is now underway to examine each claim made."
Sutherland stressed there was no credible evidence linking any Australian players.
Crucially, there is no time stamp on the footage, and there is no audio of any Australian player present in the documentary.
There was also no way for fixers to know which two batsmen would be batting together at any time in a match, while Australia fought out for a draw.
"Although not having been provided an opportunity to view the documentary or any raw footage, our longstanding position on these matters is that credible claims will be treated very seriously and fully investigated," Sutherland said in a statement.
"Cricket Australia will continue to fully co-operate with the ICC Anti- Corruption Unit in its review of the matter.
"Cricket Australia and the ICC take a zero-tolerance approach against anyone trying to compromise the integrity of the game.
"Neither the ICC or Cricket Australia is aware of any credible evidence linking Australian players to corruption in the game."
It's understood Cricket Australia had contacted players last week to alert them of the allegations.
- with AAP