MELBOURNE: Australian fast bowler Brett Lee said that match-fixing was not just restricted to the sub-continent but can happen in any part of the world where cricket is played.
“What I will say publicly is that it’s not just the subcontinent and I don’t want to focus on Pakistan or India,” the Australian press quoted the pacer as saying.
Lee said whenever he walked out to the field he never had the feeling that any of his teammates were involved in shady activities.
“It’s every day, (an) every walk of life type of thing and it’s not just cricket. The most important thing is, I believe, that every time I walked out on the field, and the players that have played with me, there was certainly nothing that would ever make me think personally that there was something dodgy going on,” he added.
In his autobiography ‘My Life’, Lee recalled an incident saying that he was approached by a man with potential links to bookmakers during the 2009 Ashes series.
“We were in a bar/hotel set-up. A guy came and offered to buy us a drink. I just didn’t feel right, reported it to the team manager and then it turned out that he was a bookmaker.
There was nothing ever said but I just didn’t feel right in that circumstance. I actually did walk away. Have I ever been asked to bowl (a particular way by a bookie)? No,” said Lee.
The 34-year-old Australian said the latest corruption scandal, involving three Pakistani cricketers — Salman Butt, Mohammad Aamir and Mohammad Asif — had made cricketers apprehensive of talking to any stranger.
“You guys might ask what’s the pitch going to do tomorrow. How do you answer that these days? It’s sad that it could get to that state,” he said.
Lee said the incident will surely tarnish the game’s reputation but hoped that cricket will bounce back strongly.
“It’s sad more than anything because they’ve gone down a path unfortunately, whether through bad advice or just a bad call. They’re going to pay the price. It’s a horrible moment because these young guys have got some serious talent.
“I do believe that cricket has got a great image. This will obviously tarnish it to a certain extent but I do believe that rather than focusing on the negatives that we can focus on the positives. Yes, it’s an issue. It’s hopefully been dealt with but I always look to the positives,” he added.—Agencies