County player in England approached to fix matches: report
England captain Andrew Strauss has called on county players to use self-policing to make sure the domestic game is purged of the threat of match-fixing.cricket Updated: May 26, 2010 19:02 IST
England captain Andrew Strauss has called on county players to use self-policing to make sure the domestic game is purged of the threat of match-fixing.
Strauss was reacting to a report in England on Wednesday which featured a county cricketer claiming he was approached by an Indian businessman seeking to fix the result of televised domestic one-day matches.
The unnamed player was told he could name his price for giving information about the result of a match and that other county cricketers had accepted money from bookmakers, the Daily Telegraph reported.
The revelations come just weeks after Pakistan spinner Danish Kaneria and Essex team-mate Mervyn Westfield were arrested and bailed as a result of an investigation into alleged spot fixing - the practice of paying a player to perform a certain task such as bowling a number of wides.
Middlesex batsman Strauss is adamant he has never come across match-fixing during his time on the county circuit, but he wants players to go to the authorities if they have evidence of foul play.
"The authorities are doing everything they can, but there is a huge responsibility on the players to make sure it doesn't take hold and spread," Strauss said.
"It's the only way of ironing it out. For players to be tempted by taking money is ludicrous in my mind.
"If it is happening, it needs to be stamped out straight away. There's no place for it in any form of cricket, and certainly in domestic cricket, we've got a duty as players to make sure that if we hear of it, or are approached by someone, we come forward and report it straight away.
"All I can say is that I've never seen in it a Middlesex dressing room. I've never heard or had any reason to suspect that a game I've played in has been fixed in any way."
English county one-day matches are often televised in India and it is thought that Asia is home to most of the illegal betting rings who provide funds for bribing players or officials.
But the Professional Cricketers' Association (PCA) was told about this latest approach on Tuesday and will be contacting the International Cricket Council's Anti-Corruption Unit (ACU).
Ian Smith, the PCA legal director, told the Telegraph: "The PCA are determined to work with the ACU to develop a workable protocol that allows players to come forward with confidence.
"We recognise that it is for the good of the game that players fulfil their duty to report approaches. We are aware of the concerns players might have over these issues and we will work with ACU to address those."