Al Jazeera Fixing Scandal

PCB issues response on Al-Jazeera’s corruption allegations

LAHORE: Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), in response to a documentary by Al Jazeera implicating international cricketers in a spot-fixing scandal, said on Monday that the “broadcaster has not been forthcoming with provision of any evidence, whatsoever, in the absence of which their allegations remain unsubstantiated.”

In a follow-up documentary to one aired earlier this year, the Qatar-based broadcaster reported on Sunday that a small group of England players allegedly cheated in seven games between 2011 and 2012.

It claimed Australian players were similarly involved in five matches over the same period, Pakistan players in three and players from other, unidentified, teams in one match.

The PCB, in its statement, said it is committed to its fight against corruption in cricket, adding that it has and continues to cooperate, assist and coordinate with the ICC’s Anti-Corruption Unit in respect of investigations related to international cricket.

The board said the recent allegations of corruption emanating from a documentary released by a broadcaster are under review, jointly by the International Cricket Council (ICC) and PCB’s Anti-Corruption Units.

“The PCB in the recent past has been proactive in uprooting the menace of corruption, and has charged and banned numerous cricketers for failing to abide by the Anti-Corruption Code. It stands by that resolve,” the statement said.

England, Australia boards dismiss allegations

Allegations of spot-fixing by English cricketers have been dismissed by the England and Wales Cricket Board´s Integrity Team and Cricket Australia.

“Whilst the limited information we have been given by Al Jazeera is poorly prepared and lacks clarity and corroboration, it has been properly assessed,” the ECB said in a statement.

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

“The ECB takes its responsibilities on anti-corruption and preserving the integrity of cricket very seriously.

“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.

It said further: “Spot-fixing occurs when players agree to manipulate part of a match by, for example, bowling a wide on a particular delivery or ensuring a particular run rate. The corruption does not usually affect the overall outcome of the match but gamblers in the know can use the information to beat the betting market.”

Cricket Australia´s outgoing chief executive James Sutherland said it took “a zero-tolerance approach” to any attempts to compromise the integrity of the game.

The CA integrity unit had reviewed the claims, he added in a statement.

“Our team have not identified any issues of corruption by any current or former player,” he 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 in order to ensure the integrity of the game.

“We urge Al Jazeera to provide all un-edited materials and any other evidence to the ICC Anti-Corruption Unit.

“The Australian Cricketers´ Association (ACA) were even more forthright, with their chief executive Alistair Nicholson saying players had had enough of “unsupported accusations”.

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

Failure to share unedited footage

The ICC has previously hit out at Al Jazeera for failing to share unedited footage from their investigations into corruption in cricket.

“We will again take the contents of the programme and any allegations it may make seriously and will investigate fully,” said Alex Marshall, the general manager of the global governing body´s anti-corruption unit.

“The investigation into these allegations has already commenced and will run alongside a number of other live unrelated investigations.

When considering the claims, we will work with professional independent betting analysts.

“As with the first programme we have, and will continue to ask for the cooperation of the broadcaster.”

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