Not Fixed! ICC anti-corruption chief says no evidence of Perth Test fixing
ICC's anti-corruption chief Alex Marshall says red-flag raisers, The Sun and cricket's governing body have no evidence of corruption in current Perth Test
Cricket's global governors insist there is no evidence the ongoing Ashes is in danger of corruption. Alex Marshall, general manager of the International Cricket Council's anti-corruption unit, held a conference call with the body's chief executive Dave Richardson and English and Australian counterparts following allegations published in The Sun newspaper. Marshall and Cricket Australia (CA) chief executive James Sutherland have both spelled out, following those conversations, that there is no indication any player has been in contact with alleged fixers.
England and Australia battle it out at the WACA ground in Perth yesterday. PIC/GETTY IMAGES
The Sun claimed on Wednesday night, before start of play in the third Test at Perth, that two Indian bookmakers had asked undercover reporters for up to £140,000 to fix passages of play, such as the number of runs scored in a given over. The Indian pair — Sobers Joban and Priyank Saxena — who were secretly filmed at hotels in Dubai and Delhi during the paper's four-month investigation, claimed corrupt players would signal the fix was on by making subtle gestures on the field, like changing their gloves. Spotters in the crowd then tell bookies, who bet millions.
The bookies claimed they can corrupt games in big T20 leagues such as Australia's Big Bash League (BBL) and the Indian Premier League (IPL). Joban boasted he had carried out 17 to 18 fixes with two IPL teams. Over 10 years he claimed to have "a lot of contacts" with African, Australian and Pakistani players, who wanted "money guaranteed" and "security". However, Marshall said: "From my initial assessment of the material, there is no evidence, either from The Sun or via our own intelligence, to suggest the current Test Match has been corrupted.
"At this stage of the investigation, there is no indication that any players in this Test have been in contact with the alleged fixers.
"The allegations are wide-ranging and relate to various forms of cricket in several countries, including T20 tournaments. We will look closely at all the information as part of our investigation."
CA released a statement in which the allegations were acknowledged to be "of serious concern" — adding the national board will co-operate fully with any anti-corruption unit investigation. Sutherland said: "There is no evidence, substance or justification based on the dossier of information the ICC has received from the ICC intelligence. There is no substance that this Test match or the Ashes series is subject to corrupt activities."
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