England+and+Australia+captains+deny+fixing+claims
Tuesday, 29 May 2018 - 14:58
England and Australia captains deny fixing claims
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England captain Joe Root and his Australia opposite number Tim Paine have both issued unequivocal assurances that their teams have no reason for concern over the spot-fixing allegations made in an Al Jazeera documentary.
 
Paine echoed the response of England's hierarchy on and off the pitch - as did Cricket Australia chief executive James Sutherland - voicing confidence in his players' integrity.
 
In England's case, claims made in the Middle East-based television station's programme 'Cricket's Match-Fixers' relate to the Chennai Test against India in December 2016 - while Australia's match against the hosts in Ranchi last year has also been cited.
 
The documentary focuses on the activities of India-based Aneel Munawar, who is accused of working for organized crime syndicate D Company, and his methods to fix the results of some matches and passages of play in others.
 
Paine, who returned to the Australia Test team for last winter's Ashes, took over the captaincy only two months ago following the ball-tampering scandal which engulfed the Cape Town Test against South Africa.
 
Nonetheless, he has no doubts that those who played in Ranchi have a clear conscience.
 
"As far as I'm concerned our players have got nothing to worry about," said Paine.
 
"I'm really confident none of our players are involved."
 
The International Cricket Council has, meanwhile, called on Al Jazeera to share full details of their investigation to aid its own.
 
Alex Marshall, the ICC's anti-corruption unit general manager, said: "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."
 
Root, speaking immediately after England's nine-wicket defeat in the first NatWest Test against Pakistan at Lord's, described the documentary's allegations as "ridiculous".
 
"All the players have been briefed by the ECB (England and Wales Cricket Board), and been told there's absolutely nothing to worry about," he said.
 
"I've just been told to strongly deny the accusations because it sounds quite ridiculous really.
 
"As a group of players we've got to focus on (the second Test) next week, making sure we prepare well and let the people in charge look after this - because I'm sure it's nothing."
 
ECB chief executive Tom Harrison confirmed England's players have their employers' full support on the matter.
 
In an ECB statement, he said: "There is nothing we have seen that would make us doubt any of our players in any way whatsoever.
 
"The limited information we have been given has been discussed with all the England players.
 
"They emphatically deny the allegations, have stated categorically that the claims are false - and they have our full support."

Meanwhile, Sri Lanka Cricket said it will extend the fullest support to any ICC probe on the ex-Sri Lankan players and an assistant curator mentioned in the Al Jazeera documentary.


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