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PCB, ECB and CA rubbish spot-fixing claims from recent documentary

Updated October 23, 2018

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In the documentary, aired on Sunday, the Qatar-based broadcaster reported that some players from England, Australia, Pakistan and other countries allegedly cheated in games between 2011 and 2012. — File Photo
In the documentary, aired on Sunday, the Qatar-based broadcaster reported that some players from England, Australia, Pakistan and other countries allegedly cheated in games between 2011 and 2012. — File Photo

KARACHI: The Pakistan Cricket Board, England and Wales Cricket Board and Cricket Australia as well as the Federation of International Cricketers’ Associations (FICA) have termed the claims in a recent documentary on spot-fixing, released by an Arab television, as unsubstantiated and have urged the broadcaster for evidence to back their claims.

In the documentary, aired on Sunday, the Qatar-based broadcaster reported that some players from England, Australia, Pakistan and other countries allegedly cheated in games between 2011 and 2012.

Reacting to the report, the PCB said probe can’t be initiated on the basis of claims only.

“Very much like the previous documentary, in which Hasan Raza was accused of wrongdoing, this time around as well there are mere claims without substantial evidence,” a PCB official said.

“Inquiry can only be initiated if the broadcaster provides irrefutable proof,” the official added.

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) expressed similar sentiments. When con­­tacted, the ECB spokesperson termed the documentary as vague and “poorly prepared”.

“Analysis of this (documentary) by the ECB Integrity Team has cast no doubt on the integrity or behaviour of any England player, current or former,” ECB spokesperson said.

“The materials we have been given have been referred to the ICC’s Anti-Corruption Unit and we will continue to work with them, as is the correct procedure for protecting the game,” he added.

Cricket Australia, on the hand, issued a stern statement and vowed to stand by its players.

“From the limited information provided by the broadcaster, our team have not identified any issues of corruption by any current or former player, including in relation to Big Bash League matches,” CA spokesperson quoted CEO James Sutherland as saying.

Meanwhile, the chief executive of the Australian Cricketers’ Association, Alistair Nicholson was clearly upset over the development. He, however, put his weight behind the Australian players.

“The ACA remains committed to taking genuine match-fixing claims seriously and cooperating in any investigation process should it be required,. However as I said two months ago, enough is enough when it comes to unsupported accusations which unfairly tarnish players reputations,” Nicholson said.

“The players are sick and tired of being subject to accusations without the proper evidence to substantiate it,” the ACA chief added.

The executive chairman of FICA, Tony Irish, said any claims made against players are as yet unsubstantiated. “We urge the broadcaster, in the same way that ICC has done, to provide all information in its possession which can assist in the investigation,” Tony said.

All the relevant cricket boards as well as the FICA are looking up to the International Cricket Council now for further probe into the matter.

The ICC has already said that they welcome the commitment from the broadcaster to share the files with Interpol and other law enforcement agencies who could act upon the information and support the ICC in ridding the sport of these criminals.

Published in Dawn, October 23rd, 2018

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