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HindustanTimes Thu,28 Aug 2014

Cricket

McCullum: 'Hero-cricketer' offered me big money to throw IPL games
Agencies
New Delhi, May 20, 2014
First Published: 01:39 IST(20/5/2014)
Last Updated: 11:30 IST(20/5/2014)

New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum has told the ICC that a cricketing “hero” approached him in 2008 to fix matches ahead of the inaugural edition of IPL, offering him huge sums of money.

The stunning revelation is the latest in a series of blows to the cash-rich Twenty20 league that is facing a fresh probe into the fixing scandal that rocked last year’s edition. Justice Mukul Mudgal committee has been asked by the Supreme Court to look into charges against 12 cricketers and former BCCI chief N Srinivasan, whose son-in-law Gurunath Meiyappan was found guilty of betting.

McCullum has told the International Cricket Council’s anti-corruption and security unit (ACSU) officials that he was approached first by the “renowned” former cricketer — dubbed Player X — over dinner in a Kolkata hotel days before the Indian Premier League was to take off.

Read: New Zealand says skipper McCullum not corrupt

McCullum played for Kolkata Knight Riders that season.

Player X also followed McCullum to England during a tour later that year, but was turned down.

The Black Caps captain has denied he ever fixed a match. New Zealand Cricket, angry that his statement has been leaked to the media, said the player faced no punishment despite a delay in reporting the approach to cricket authorities.

Former Kiwi all-rounder Chris Cairns, already under the scanner over fixing allegations, rejected suggestion he was Player X.

NZ cricket chief David White said he knew who the player was, but wouldn’t give the name as it would compromise the investigation, New Zealand media reported.

Reports of McCullum’s statement come within days of media reporting that former Kiwi batsman Lou Vincent had told ICC that he was offered sex and cash to fix matches. He reportedly confessed fixing matches while playing in the now-defunct Indian Cricket League and county cricket in England. The ACSU probe indicates another major fixing scandal could be exposed.

Following Vincent’s confessions, many more players and at least 12 matches played worldwide, including some in the 2012 Champions League T20 organised in South Africa, are being probed.


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