An agency report from Karachi has again placed the spotlight on spot-fixing. Australia's shaky start in their Cup opener against Zimbabwe is being scrutinised by the International Cricket Council's (ICC's) Anti Corruption and Security Unit (ACSU).
Australian openers Brad Haddin and Shane Watson, both renowned for their big-hitting, found the going tough against the Zimbabwean spinners as they managed just 28 runs off the first 11 overs.
But Haddin, after a hectic workout at the P Sara Oval here on Tuesday, brushed aside all the spot-fixing talk. “You guys are better than that to know that's not the case,” an upset Haddin said when asked if he was under investigation. “That's quite laughable, actually.”
Haddin, who took his time before answering the questions, will heave a sigh of relief as he was given a clean chit by the ICC. “Any ICC match taking place anywhere in the world is under the scanner of the anti-corruption unit. So far nothing unusual has been found in any match of the World Cup,” an ICC insider told HT.Dismissals questioned
If Sri Lanka's disappointing loss against Pakistan on Saturday wasn't enough, vice-captain Mahela Jayawardene and senior batsman Thilan Samaraweera's integrity was questioned by the state-owned television network.
During his commentary on ITN, the national television channel, Mahinda Abeysundara, editor of the state-run daily 'Dinamana' said a businessman had bet about $18,000 on Pakistan's victory and there had been a "chorus to change the game". "We just think Mahela and Thilan may have changed the game," he added.
The remark has been taken seriously by both batsmen as they, along with their managers, warned to take legal action against the commentator and channel. Though Jayawardene’s manager declined to comment on the issue, an insider said that both batsmen "were doing all they can to get to the bottom of the allegation". Channel clarifies
In a letter addressed to the secretary, Sri Lanka Cricket, late on Tuesday, Sudharman Radaliyagoda, deputy general manager (news and current affairs), ITN said: "It must be emphasised that our intention was not to embarrass either Mahela Jayawardene, our vice-captain, or Thilan Samaraweera. We wish to express our deep concern if the comments of the programme had hurt both of them or any other party. Today's programme was based on making further clarifications with regard to the earlier programme. ITN was always with the Sri Lankan cricketers and for their success at the World Cup."
Even SLC has decided not to take the matter lightly. Brian Thomas, SLC media manager, said the SLC will take "legal course if the need arises" and did not feel the need "to conduct an enquiry since they completely trust the players’ integrity".
“SLC strongly condemns the bonafides of this anchor,” an SLC statement said.