‘Sick and tired’: CA hits back over fixing allegations
ALLEGATIONS of spot-fixing by top-level cricketers have been dismissed by Cricket Australia and the England and Wales Cricket Board's Integrity Team.
The Al Jazeera television network said it had uncovered evidence of corruption in international cricket, including "a small group" of England players in seven matches between 2010 and 2012 and unnamed Australia players in five matches.
Unnamed Pakistan players were also accused by the broadcaster in a documentary broadcast on Sunday.
This is not the first time Al Jazeera has touched on the issue of spot-fixing in cricket - with an earlier documentary threatening to rock the sport to its core.
Cricket Australia cleared its players in that instance, and has again leapt to their defence - with ACA chief executive Alastair Nicholson saying players are "sick and tired" of the continued accusations, while CA CEO James Sutherland went on the attack.
"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 in a statement.
"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.
"The materials we have been given have been referred to the ICC's Anti-Corruption unit and we will continue to work with them in order to ensure the integrity of the game.
"We urge Al Jazeera to provide all un-edited materials and any other evidence to the ICC Anti-Corruption Unit.
"Australian cricket is proactive with its sports integrity management and Cricket Australia's Integrity Unit oversees and maintains the integrity of all domestic cricket in Australia, including BBL and WBBL matches.
"In addition to this, prior to the start of each Australian season, all professional cricketers are required to participate in thorough anti-corruption education sessions before being eligible to compete in CA's domestic competitions."
Nicholson also defended the players, while saying all "genuine match-fixing claims" would be taken seriously.
"The players and the ACA remain committed to taking genuine match-fixing claims seriously and cooperating in any investigation process should it be required," Nicholson said.
"However, as I said two months ago, enough is enough when it comes to unsupported accusations which unfairly tarnish players reputations.
"The players are sick and tired of being subject to accusations, without the proper evidence to substantiate it."
Added the ECB: "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 ECB takes its responsibilities on anti-corruption and preserving the integrity of cricket very seriously.
"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."
The BBC reported the International Cricket Council was already looking into the allegations alongside several unrelated investigations.
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