‘The claims are unlikely and lacking in credibility’ – ICC concludes investigation on Al Jazeera’s fixing claims

The ICC had engaged four independent betting and cricketing specialists to assess the claims and they found nothing concrete to substantiate the match fixing allegations leveled.

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An Al Jazeera documentary back in May 2018 leveled session fixing allegations during two Test matches in India. The middle eastern news agency claimed that the India-Australia Test in Ranchi (2017) and the India-England Test in Chennai (2016) featured “fixed” sessions. The documentary claimes that that two Australian and three English cricketers, whose names were withheld, iwho played in those Tests were allegedly in contact with bookies.

The International Cricket Council (ICC) engaged four independent betting and cricketing specialists to assess the claims. All four specialists concluded that those passages of play, which were identified in the programme as being allegedly fixed, were “entirely predictable, and therefore implausible as a fix.” The ICC’s investigation focused on three main areas, the claims made by the programme, the suspects who were part of it and how the programme gathered evidence.

All five participants of the Al Jazeera documentary were interviewed by ICC

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The Integrity Unit of the ICC even interviewed the five players who featured in the Al Jazeera documentary. But it arrived at the conclusion that there is “insufficient evidence based on the normal thresholds applied through the Code to lay any charges.” ICC went on to add that it welcomes such claims but add that the allegations should have enough evidence to level charges.

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We welcome the reporting of alleged corrupt activity within cricket as there is no place for such conduct in our sport, but we also need to be satisfied there is sufficient evidence to sustain charges against Participants,Alex Marshall, ICC General Manager (Integrity) said was quoted by Cricbuzz. “In the case of the claims aired in this programme, there are fundamental weaknesses in each of the areas we have investigated that make the claims unlikely and lacking in credibility, a viewpoint that has been corroborated by four independent experts.

On the basis of the programme, the Participants to the Code who were filmed appear to have behaved in a questionable manner, however, we have been unable to assess the full context of the conversations that took place beyond what was seen on screen versus what the Participants claim actually happened,” he adds. “This combined with the absence of any other credible evidence means there are insufficient grounds to bring charges under the ICC Anti-Corruption Code.

Should any new substantial evidence come to light I will re-examine the case. But at present, I am comfortable with the conclusion of the investigation and the thoroughness with which it was undertaken.

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