Sport Cricket ICC expresses ‘grave concern’ over explosive Ashes fixing allegations

ICC expresses ‘grave concern’ over explosive Ashes fixing allegations

Ashes match fixing
K newspaper The Sun has published what it claims is evidence of attempts to match-fix the third Ashes Test. Photo: Getty
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The ICC has launched an investigation over alleged attempts to fix the third Ashes Test starting Thursday in Perth.

Britain’s The Sun newspaper published purported evidence of bookmakers offering to sell details of rigged periods of play for betting purposes.

“Before match, I will tell you this over, this runs and then you have to put all the bets on that over,” a man, who the newspaper claims was a bookmaker, said in purportedly undercover video footage.

During the video, information on spot fixing is heard to be worth around $200,000.

Two Indian “fixers” are identified in the report, allegedly working with an Australian partner known as ‘The Silent Man’.

Leaked footage of the two men also shows them discussing match fixing in both the Big Bash League and the Indian Premier League.

The fixers boasted a former Australian player and an Australian cricket administrator passed on information that they could sell for handful of spot fixes.

“These are serious allegations and of grave concern,” the ICC responded in a statement Thursday.

“We welcome The Sun‘s offer to share the information they have so we can instigate a full investigation and, where appropriate, involve law enforcement agencies, and this process is already under way.”

A Cricket Australia statement echoed the ICC’s concern and said it would “co-operate fully” with the investigation.

The allegations raised by media outlets are of serious concern. Cricket Australia takes a zero-tolerance approach against anybody trying to bring the game into disrepute,” it read.

“Cricket Australia will co-operate fully with any ICC Anti-Corruption Unit (ACU) investigation.

“Australian cricket has a long-standing, proactive approach to sports integrity management.

“CA works closely with the ICC ACU on all international fixtures played in Australia.”

England’s board also highlighted in a statement how it will continue to work closely with the ACU and that “there is no suggestion that any of the England team is involved in any way”.

The alleged fixers stated they could get players to follow “scripts”, to detail how many runs would be scored in an innings, when a wicket would fall and what a team would do if it won the toss.

They said players would make subtle gestures with their gear and uniform, as well as certain on-field actions like bowling a wide or stopping without bowling a delivery at the end of a run-up, to signal a fix.

“I give you a red watch, you wear a red watch … 
A player bowls the over in full t-shirt, that is the signal,” one man is quoted saying.

“A wide, running in and stopping without bowling, so many signals.”

The bookies said spotters in the crowd would pass on the signals to bookies, who would quickly bet millions on India’s illegal betting market – valued at more than $1 billion.

As opposed to the most recent high-profile news report of fixing in cricket, the 2010 no-ball sting involving several Pakistan players, no Australian or English players were named in the alleged fixing scheme.

The ICC banned three players – Salman Butt, Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Amir – following a News of the World investigation that detailed how Asif and Amir would bowl no-balls at certain points of a Test.

The ICC appointed Alex Marshall, who served in the UK police for 37 years, earlier this year as the head of their ACU. Three international captains have reported illicit approaches in the past two months.

– with AAP