ICC seeks evidence from Al Jazeera to assist corruption probe

Richardson says a thorough investigation will be conducted

ICC seeks evidence from Al Jazeera to assist corruption probe PHOTO: AFP

The International Cricket Council (ICC) has asked Al Jazeera to share evidence that would help the governing body further investigate corruption in the sport after the news organisation aired a documentary on the matter last weekend.

 The ICC launched a probe after the "Cricket's Match Fixers" programme showed a groundsman agreeing to tailor pitches for test matches involving leading teams.

"I ask Al Jazeera to release to us all the material they have relating to corruption in cricket," said ICC CEO David Richardson in a statement on Friday. "We will conduct a full, thorough and fair investigation and ensure no stone is left unturned as we examine all allegations of corruption made in the programme. To do so, we need to see all the evidence they state they possess."

The programme claimed that the stadium manager at Galle in Sri Lanka may have doctored the pitch at the behest of fixers and suggested minor Twenty20 events had also been targeted. It also alleged incidents of spot-fixing in a Chennai match between England and India in December 2016 and the Australia-India test in Ranchi in March 2017.

"We understand and fully respect the need to protect journalistic sources and our ACU (Anti-Corrpution Unit) team have worked with other media companies on that basis," said Richardson. "However, to prove or disprove these allegations, we need to see the evidence referred to in the programme."

Match-fixing has become a major concern for the sport in recent years with a high-profile incident involving Pakistan on a previous tour to England forming one of cricket's low points.

Pakistani trio Salman Butt, Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Amir, who is back playing for the national team, were part of a gambling-inspired plot to bowl no-balls at pre-arranged times during a test match against England at Lord's in August 2010.

All three players served time in prison and were handed multi-year bans from the game after a ICC tribunal found them guilty of spot-fixing.