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HindustanTimes Thu,23 Oct 2014

Cricket

Clarke confident Australia team is corruption free
Reuters
Sydney, May 21, 2014
First Published: 11:48 IST(21/5/2014)
Last Updated: 11:50 IST(21/5/2014)

Australia captain Michael Clarke is disappointed at the alleged involvement of international cricketers in matchfixing but was "happy, satisfied and confident" that his own teammates were not corrupt, he said on Wednesday.

Testimony from an ongoing International Cricket Council probe into corruption leaked to a British newspaper this week has detailed alleged matchfixing in cricket involving at least two former international players from New Zealand.

Clarke, who has led his team back to the top of the ICC test rankings over the last year, said any kind of corruption in the "greatest sport in the world" was unwelcome but did not think it was a problem in Australia.

"As an Australian cricketer, I'm very proud of what this current team has done and achieved and I think we are educated very well in what is right and what is wrong," he told reporters on Wednesday.

"I'm extremely confident about the players I'm playing with, this Australian team, all know very clearly that there's no room for corruption in our team. A big part of our job is to uphold the integrity of our sport and I think we do that well."

Although Australians have not been involved in any of the string of scandals that have emerged over the last two decades, the country's cricketing authorities were condemned for covering up the "Bookmaker John" case in 1995.

Two of Australia's greatest cricketers, Shane Warne and Mark Waugh, were privately fined for accepting thousands of dollars from an Indian bookmaker to give weather and pitch information - punishments that were not revealed until 1998.

Clarke said he thought Cricket Australia's current system of educating players had helped keep the sport free of the taint of corruption Down Under.

"These days you get educated from a very young age, I think once you come into the state system, even as a rookie contract. So for some guys it starts at 16 years of age," he said.

"I think the educational process Australian cricketers go through is extremely thorough and we know the difference between right and wrong, and what is accepted, and what isn't.

"I can only talk about Australian players, but in this country we are very well educated and I'm very happy, satisfied and confident that Australian players are making the right decisions."

Clarke said he hoped that allegations of corruption did not lead to people becoming disillusioned with the game.

"I don't think we should be tarring all cricketers, it's a minority that is dealing with these sort of issues and I'd be disappointed if the fans of cricket think this is happening more than it is," he said.

"I want to see it stamped out and so do the ICC and Cricket Australia. I think it's the greatest sport in the world."


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