Spot-fixing allegations have been made against Australian batsmen based on an incident that happened in a Test match highlighted by a new sports documentary.
Cricket Australia is looking into allegations of spot-fixing in an Australia-India Test match in order to determine whether or not a full-scale investigation is required. The incident came to light through a documentary on sporting corruption produced by the Al Jazeera TV channel, and an additional Test match involving a different country is also under the scanner.
‘Neither the ICC or Cricket Australia is aware of any credible evidence linking Australian players to corruption in the game,’ said Cricket Australia in a statement, adding that the organisation had not yet been able to view either the documentary or any raw footage from the match in question, which was the Australia-India Test in Ranchi in March 2017.
According to Cricinfo, the documentary alleges that certain Australian batsmen ‘scored at a rate specified by fixers for the purposes of betting’, which is illegal in India. In the documentary, a person Al Jazeera identified as Aneel Munawar, who is said to work for crime syndicate D Company, is seen naming two Australian players to the undercover reporter as being part of the fix. The names of the cricketers were edited out of the documentary but Al Jazeera said it would pass on information to the relevant authorities. The channel said the two Australians named by Munawar had not responded to the allegations.
Allegedly, the batsmen had been instructed to score slowly in order to play into the hands of what the ‘illegal betting market was placing bets on’.
‘Together with the ICC, we are aware of the investigation by Al Jazeera into alleged corruption in cricket. Although not having been provided an opportunity to view the documentary or any raw footage, our long-standing position on these matters is that credible claims will be treated very seriously and fully investigated,’ said James Sutherland, CEO of Cricket Australia.
‘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.
‘We urge Al Jazeera to provide all unedited materials and any other evidence to the ICC investigation team, so, if appropriate, a full and thorough investigation can be conducted.
Statement from Alex Marshall, ICC general manager: Anti-Corruption Unit
‘The ICC is aware of an investigation into corruption in cricket by a news organisation and as you would expect we will take the contents of the programme and any allegations it may make very seriously.
‘We have already launched an investigation working with anti-corruption colleagues from Member countries based on the limited information we have received. We have made repeated requests that all evidence and supporting materials relating to corruption in cricket is released immediately to enable us to undertake a full and comprehensive investigation.’
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