Cricket Australia has requested TV channel Al Jazeera for raw footage and un-edited material to determine whether allegations of spot-fixing in a Test involving Australia in India are credible and an investigation is necessary.
The allegations were made by the Al Jazeera TV channel in a documentary, seen by ESPNcricinfo, which focuses on various forms of corruption in the sport. Another Test involving a different country is also under the scanner.
CA responded to the claims by saying “neither the ICC or Cricket Australia is aware of any credible evidence linking Australian players to corruption in the game.” The board said it has not yet had the opportunity to view the documentary or raw footage containing the allegations, and requested Al Jazeera for the same.
The match in question in the Al Jazeera documentary is the Australia-India Test in Ranchi in March 2017. The allegations are that during a certain period of the game some Australian batsmen scored at a rate specified by fixers for the purposes of betting, which is illegal in India.
In the documentary, a person Al Jazeera identified as Aneel Munawar, an Indian national who is said to work for crime syndicate D Company, is seen naming two Australian players to the undercover reporter as being part of the fix.
The names of the cricketers were edited out in the documentary but Al Jazeera said it would pass on information to the relevant authorities. The channel said the two Australians named by Munawar had not responded to the allegations.
Al Jazeera, however, claimed that the information passed by Munawar to the undercover reporter about run-scoring in a certain passage of play was accurate in the Test. The instruction, the channel said, was for the batsmen to score slowly so that the actual runs scored would be lower than what the illegal betting market was placing bets on.
The channel said there was no evidence to indicate any other Australia players had been involved or aware of the alleged plot.
“Together with the ICC, we are aware of the investigation by Al Jazeera into alleged corruption in cricket,” CA chief executive James Sutherland said in a statement. “Although not having been provided an opportunity to view the documentary or any raw footage, our long-standing position on these matters is that credible claims will be treated very seriously and fully investigated.
“Cricket Australia will continue to fully co-operate with the ICC Anti-Corruption Unit in its review of the matter. Neither the ICC or Cricket Australia is aware of any credible evidence linking Australian players to corruption in the game. Cricket Australia and the ICC take a zero-tolerance approach against anyone trying to compromise the integrity of the game.
“We urge Al Jazeera to provide all un-edited materials and any other evidence to the ICC investigation team, so, if appropriate, a full and thorough investigation can be conducted.”
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