Cricket Australia, ECB dismiss latest Al Jazeera fixing claims citing World Cup, Test fixing
Outgoing CA CEO James Sutherland has once again dismissed Al Jazeera's claims. @Getty

The cricket boards of Australia and England have rejected allegations of corruption in a new documentary by Qatar-based television channel Al Jazeera, which claimed there had been 26 spot-fixing incidents in 15 international games.

The documentary on Sunday reported that several England players had allegedly cheated in seven games between 2011 and 2012, and that Australian cricketers had also engaged in illegal activities in four matches during the same time. The documentary – the second broadcast by Al Jazeera this year related to illegal activity in cricket – also stated that three Pakistan players and another from an unidentified team had done so.

The Al Jazeera document claims that matches between England against India at Lord’s, South Africa and Australia in Cape Town and some matches during England’s series against Pakistan in the UAE had elements of fixing. In the conversations, as reported by The Daily Mail, reported operative of a Mumbai underworld crime syndicate, Anil Munawar, is heard telling an illegal Indian bookmaker details of numerous spot-fixes he claims to have organised. These games reported include the ODI World Cup and ICC World T20, as well as Test series between England and India and England and Pakistan.

The Daily Mail reported Munawar as telling a supposed England cricketer: “Congratulations for the Ashes. Last payment is ready for going in the account. You will be credited in a week.”

These claims were dismissed by Cricket Australia (CA) and the England & Wales Cricket Board (ECB).

“Cricket Australia takes a zero-tolerance approach against anyone trying to compromise the integrity of the game, and to suggest anything otherwise is unsubstantiated and incorrect,” CA chief executive James Sutherland said on Monday. “We have full confidence in our players in also protecting the game. From the limited information provided by Al Jazeera, our team have not identified any issues of corruption by any current or former player.”

An ECB statement echoed Sutherland. “Whilst the limited information we have been given by Al Jazeera is poorly prepared and lacks clarity and corroboration, it has been properly assessed,” it said. “Analysis of this by the ECB integrity team has cast no doubt on the integrity or behaviour of any England player, current or former.”

The ICC said it had launched an investigation and stated that it would work with professional independent betting analysts.

“The ICC is committed to working to uphold integrity in cricket,” said the head of the ICC’s anti-corruption unit, Alex Marshall. “As you would expect we will again take the contents of the programme and any allegations it may make seriously and will investigate fully.”

In its earlier documentary this year, Al Jazeera alleged corruption among Australia and England players in games in 2016 and 2017.

(With inputs from AFP)