Australia denies match-fixing claims
Cricket Australia on Tuesday said that it was not aware of any evidence implicating Australian players in match-fixing and slammed the credibility of the man who made the claims in a London court.cricket Updated: Oct 11, 2011 11:03 IST
Cricket Australia on Tuesday said that it was not aware of any evidence implicating Australian players in match-fixing and slammed the credibility of the man who made the claims in a London court.
The details emerged as Mazher Mahmood, the former investigations editor for Rupert Murdoch's now-defunct News of the World tabloid, gave evidence at the trial of ex-Pakistan cricket captain Salman Butt and fast bowler Mohammad Asif.
In recordings played to Southwark Crown Court, an agent, Mazhar Majeed, alleged that Australians, as well as some of the biggest names in Pakistani cricket, were prepared to fix parts of matches.
"We were very surprised to hear the report this morning," said Cricket Australia (CA) general manager of public affairs Peter Young.
"We are aware that some very outlandish claims have been made by a person of very dubious repute and they've apparently been replayed to the court."
He said CA was conscious of respecting the judicial process and not saying anything that might compromise the trial, but denied ever seeing any proof of match-fixing by Australian players.
"What we can say is that we are not aware of any evidence," he said.
"Our long-standing formal view for well over a decade has been that any credible evidence needs to be pursued and investigated with vigour by the International Cricket Council, and that is our position today."
During the trial, a video secretly filmed in a car was played showing the agent and Mahmood - posing as an Indian frontman for a gambling syndicate - meeting during the first day of Pakistan's Test against England on August 18 last year.
In it, Majeed alleged that Australian players would fix "brackets", a set period of a match on which punters bet.
"The Australians, they are the biggest. They have 10 brackets a game," he said.
Arranging a "bracket" could cost between £50,000 and £80,000, he said.
"For a result, Twenty20 is about £400,000 and Test matches, depending on the situation, is about £1 million," he added.
Young said CA would be talking with the International Cricket Council on Tuesday "to understand any advice they might have".
"We do note that the ICC has had an anti-corruption expert scrutinising every single ball that we've bowled and every single ball that we've faced for well over a decade," he added.
"There has been no suggestion of any concerns about Australian cricket."