Al Jazeera Sting: The International Cricket Council on Sunday asked Qatar-based news organisation Al Jazeera to provide raw footage and unedited material for further investigation
into its claims that a few Australian players were involved in spot-fixing during the 3-match test-series between India and Australia in Ranchi.
In a statement, the world cricket body said that its Anti-Corruption unit has started the probe into the allegations. It also termed the allegations as ‘extremely serious’.
“The ICC has now had the opportunity to view the documentary into corruption in cricket and as we have previously stated, we are taking the contents of the programme and the allegations it has made extremely seriously. A full investigation led by the ICC Anti-Corruption Unit, working with full cooperation from all Member countries identified in the programme, is now underway to examine each claim made,” the statement reads.
The cricket governing body also said that despite their best efforts, the media organisation has refused to share information on the sting operations.
“We have been in ongoing dialogue with the broadcaster which has refused our continual requests to cooperate and share information which has hampered our investigation to date. The content of the programme, is, of course, useful to the investigation, but I would now urge the production team to provide us with all un-edited and unseen evidence they are in possession of, to enable us to expedite a thorough investigation,” the statement added.
The ICC also asked the common people to share and provide information if they have any via firstname.lastname@example.org.
Meanwhile, Cricket Australia has asserted that it will fully cooperate with the ICC in its probe. In a statement, Cricket Australia Cheif Executive James Sutherland has called for the unedited evidence to be made available to ICC probe team. He also stressed that there was no credible evidence in the allegations.
The England and Wales Cricket Board also expressed their support for their players. It also raised disappointment with news channel’s lack of cooperation. In a statement, ECB chief executive Tom Harrison said, “There is nothing we have seen that would make us doubt any of our players in any way whatsoever. There have been repeated requests for any evidence and unedited materials to be shared with the ICC so they can fully investigate.”
“They emphatically deny the allegations, have stated categorically that the claims are false and they have our full support. ECB had been aware of the planned Al Jazeera documentary for some time but have not been given the full content. We, like other member Boards, are disappointed that Al Jazeera has not been more cooperative and responsible when making such serious allegations,” Cricket Australia reported citing the statement.
While, England’s captain Joe Root said, “I am aware that there is a documentary and it is outrageous that our players have been accused. All the players have the full backing of the ECB,” reports The Guardian.
According to a sting operation conducted by Doha-based news channel Al Jazeera, five international cricketers- three from England and two from Australia were reportedly involved in spot-fixing in test matches. The channel has published the sting operation in the form of a 54- minutes documentary titled ‘Cricket’s Match-Fixers.’
The matches in controversy are India vs Sri Lanka (Galle, July 26-29, 2017), India vs Australia (Ranchi, March 16-20, 2017) and India vs England (Chennai, December 16-20, 2016). The first and third Tests were won by India while the match played in Ranchi was ended in a draw.
The only Indian connection to the alleged scandal is former cricketer of Mumbai Robin Morris. Morris is now alleged to be a match-fixer. The BCCI (Board of Control for Cricket in India) has said that it will wait for the outcome of ICCs investigation. In a statement, the domestic cricket body said that it has a zero-tolerance approach to any activity which brings disrepute the game of cricket.
“The BCCI has a zero-tolerance approach to any activity or act that brings the game of cricket to disrepute or mars the integrity of the game. The BCCI anti-corruption unit is working closely with the ICC anti-corruption on the alleged claims by a television channel,” the statement reads.