Australia says no ‘credible evidence’ linking players to corruption
DUBAI, May 28, (AFP): Qatari news channel Al Jazeera was urged to hand over evidence of alleged match-fixing on Monday after a TV documentary claimed to uncover corruption at the highest levels of world cricket. England’s coach and captain both slammed allegations of spot-fixing as “outrageous”, and Australia said it wasn’t aware of any “credible evidence” after Sunday’s broadcast.
But Sri Lanka has suspended a player and a groundsman over a suspected pitch-tampering plot in Galle, while Sri Lankan police have launched an investigation. The documentary also claims to reveal spot-fixing — rigging elements of play for betting purposes — in Test matches between India and England at Chennai in December 2016, and India and Australia at Ranchi in March 2017.
Cricket has endured several corruption scandals over the years, including a 2010 newspaper sting which left three Pakistan players in jail over spotfixing during a Test against England. In secretly recorded footage, an alleged underworld figure says: “I’m telling you, each script I give you will happen, happen and happen.” He later predicts passages of play during the Test matches in Chennai and Ranchi, and names England and Australia players who he says were involved.
The names were not revealed in the documentary. Alex Marshall, the head of the International Cricket Council’s anti-corruption unit, urged Al Jazeera to hand over its footage to investigators. “We have been in ongoing dialogue with the broadcaster which has refused our continual requests to cooperate and share information which has hampered our investigation to date,” he said.
“I would now urge the production team to provide us with all unedited and unseen evidence they are in possession of, to enable us to expedite a thorough investigation.” Cricket Australia chief executive James Sutherland said he had seen no “credible evidence” linking Australian players to corruption, but also said Al Jazeera should share its footage with the ICC.