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October 23, 2018

PCB, ICC jointly reviewing new fixing claims


October 23, 2018

LAHORE: Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) said on Monday it was committed to its fight against corruption in cricket.

“It continues to cooperate, assist and coordinate with the ICC’s Anti Corruption Unit in respect of investigations related to international cricket,” it said in a statement in response to allegations by a TV network that Pakistani players had been involved in spot-fixing in matches in 2011 and 2012. 

The PCB said the recent allegations of corruption emanating from a documentary released by a broadcaster are under review jointly by ICC and PCB’s Anti Corruption Units. “The broadcaster has not been forthcoming with provision of any evidence whatsoever in the absence of which their allegations remain unsubstantiated. 

“PCB in the recent past has been proactive in uprooting the menace of corruption and has charged and banned numerous cricketers for failing to abide by the Anti Corruption Code. It stands by that resolve,” the board said.

Al Jazeera news channel has claimed it has evidence of 26 spot-fixing incidents in 15 international matches. It reported on Sunday that a small group of England players allegedly cheated in seven games in 2011 and 2012. It claimed Australian players were similarly involved in five matches in the same period, Pakistan players in three and players from other, unidentified, teams in one match.

Cricket Australia said it had a zero-tolerance approach against anyone trying to compromise the integrity of the game, and to suggest anything otherwise was unsubstantiated and incorrect.

“We have full confidence in our players in also protecting the game,” CA chief executive James Sutherland said. Prior to the latest broadcast, CA’s Integrity Unit conducted a review of the claims, which it said came from a “known criminal source”.

“From the limited information provided by Al Jazeera, our team have not identified any issues of corruption by any current or former player,” said Sutherland.The ECB was also adamant that the claims lacked credibility. “Whilst the limited information we have been given by Al Jazeera is poorly prepared and lacks clarity and corroboration, it has been properly assessed,” it said in a statement.

“Analysis of this by the ECB integrity team has cast no doubt on the integrity or behaviour of any England player, current or former.” Al Jazeera said that in some cases, both teams appeared to have delivered a fix. Among the matches cited were England against India at Lord’s, South Africa versus Australia in Cape Town, and several games during England’s series against Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates.

The International Cricket Council said it had launched an investigation and would work with professional independent betting analysts.“The ICC is committed to working to uphold integrity in cricket,” said the head of the governing body’s anti-corruption unit Alex Marshall.

“As you would expect we will again take the contents of the programme and any allegations it may make seriously and will investigate fully.”The ICC also launched a probe after the original Al Jazeera documentary and in August Marshall said “we have been able to discount a number of claims made in the programme and continue to pursue other aspects”.

That documentary alleged corruption among Australia and England players in games in 2016 and 2017.Those claims were dismissed by both countries, with the latest documentary sparking a similar response from Cricket Australia and the England Cricket Board.

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