Watson urges Australian cricketers to come out clean

Australian all-rounder Shane Watson feels that the questions by the controversial bookie can tarnish the reputation of cricketers as well as the game Getty Images

Melbourne: Oct 12, 2011

Australia all-rounder Shane Watson has urged Ricky Ponting and Nathan Bracken to quickly clear their names over the match-fixing allegations after alleged bookie Mazhar Majeed had claimed that he had access to both the players.

Majeed, a players’ agent who was caught in a sting operation for allegedly orgainising corruption in cricket matches, has claimed that he knew several international players, including former captain Ponting and Bracken and that Australians were “the biggest” offenders of match-fixing.

The allgeations have led to angry reactions from Australian players with Bracken and Ponting bluntly denying Majeed’s claim.

But Watson said such claims unfairly questions the characters of players who take pride from their performances.

“Absolutely it does (question integrity) and it’s unbelievably disappointing. There’s no doubt that if my name came up in that as well, especially when you know exactly how much you give every time you play and you’re only there to get the best out of yourself and perform,” he was quoted as saying by the Australian Associated Press.

“If your integrity gets questioned there’s no doubt you have to do everything you can to make sure you do clear your name because the majority of people who play sport and play cricket, you’re only there to get the best out of yourself and performing as well as you can every single game.

“When that’s questioned it’s really just a huge question on your character and you’ve got to try and clear your name as soon as you can,” he added.

Watson also termed Majeed’s claim as “shocking, disappointing and damaging”.

“They’ve been very disappointing and pretty shocking really to see these allegations that have come out from this court case that is going on at the moment,” he said.

“I know from my perspective how damaging they really are to the game of cricket but also to the individuals. It challenges the integrity of the game we all love so much. (PTI)