Australian cricket chiefs challenge match-fixing claims
SYDNEY (AP) — Cricket Australia has challenged Al-Jazeera to produce its evidence after the Qatar-based satellite news network warned of plans to air another documentary into alleged match fixing and corruption in the sport.
Al-Jazeera aired an investigative documentary earlier this year into corruption in cricket. The report included allegations of fixing involving Australian players from matches played in 2011.
Cricket Australia issued a statement Tuesday saying it been notified by Al-Jazeera of the follow-up documentary. Cricket Australia’s chief executive James Sutherland said the International Cricket Council’s anti-corruption unit “has been conducting a thorough investigation into the claims made, however, this has been hampered by a lack of cooperation from Al- Jazeera.
“From the limited information provided by Al-Jazeera our team has not identified any issues of corruption relating to current or former Australian players,” Sutherland said. “We have handed all material over to the ICC Anti-Corruption Unit to enable them to fully investigate and we will continue to co-operate with the ICC.”
Alistair Nicholson, the head of the Australian Cricketers’ Association, said “enough is enough when it comes to people making unsupported accusations that have the ability to unfairly tarnish players’ reputations.”
The ICC is attempting to discover the identity of one alleged match-fixer, identified in the initial documentary as Aneel Munawar, a false name used to protect his identity. The same source is reported to be central to the second documentary.
Alex Marshall, head of the ICC’s anti-corruption unit, said investigators “have identified every other person in the original documentary and have spoken to a number of them in connection with match-fixing, including those who are not deemed to be participants under our anti-corruption code.
“However, the true identity of Aneel Munawar remains a mystery. He plays a significant role in the program yet enquiries with law enforcement and immigration sources have not identified or located him.”