Australian and English cricketers woke to bombshell spot-fixing allegations in the UK newspaper The Sun regarding the WACA Test.
The Sun published purportedly undercover video footage of bookmakers offering to sell details of rigged periods of play for betting purposes.
The report claims two Indian fixers are alleged to be working with an Australian partner, known as The Silent Man – and that a fix attempt was due in the third Test.
It also suggests a former Australian cricketer and Australian administrator are involved in their racket.
The ICC, Cricket Australia and the England and Wales Cricket Board have all confirmed they are taking the matter seriously.
But Alex Marshall, head of the ICC’s Anti-Corruption Unit, noted “from my initial assessment of the material, there is no evidence, either from The Sun or via our own intelligence, to suggest the current Test Match has been corrupted”.
“We have now received all materials relating to The Sun investigation. We take the allegations extremely seriously and they will be investigated.
“At this stage of the investigation, there is no indication that any players in this Test have been in contact with the alleged fixers.
“The allegations are wide ranging and relate to various forms cricket in several countries, including T20 tournaments. We will look closely at all the information.”
Marshall, who served in the UK police for 37 years and was hired by the ICC earlier this year, met with Australian Federal Police and other agencies earlier this month.
The meeting was part of a global tour about information sharing and communication rather than a specific investigation.
“The allegations raised by media outlets are of serious concern. Cricket Australia takes a zero-tolerance approach,” CA said in a statement.
“Cricket Australia will co-operate fully with any ICC Anti-Corruption Unit (ACU) investigation.”
There are no names or specific details in The Sun‘s claims, as opposed to the News of the World‘s no-ball sting that named Pakistan players in 2010.
The Sun’s footage shows the two men discussing how they claim to distort elements of Twenty20 cricket games in Australia and India.
“You want to see something magic in the Big Bash? Big Bash we can do, winning and loss,” one man says in the clip, claiming he has connections with Australia, South Africa and Pakistan players.
“In Big Bash we will get four to five matches confirmed news.”
The individual claims he can arrange games to follow “scripts” that cover run-rate and wickets – something that would require the involvement of several players on both sides.
Tomorrow's front page: The Sun has smashed a multi-million pound plot to fix the third Ashes cricket test pic.twitter.com/G0tkRUjlsy
— The Sun (@TheSun) December 13, 2017
“That’s just preposterous stuff. It looks like he knew he was giving a TV interview. That wasn’t a quiet conversation,” Sydney Sixers bowling mentor Geoff Lawson told Fox Sports.
Corrupt players would allegedly signal the fix is on by using subtle gestures, such as changing their batting gloves or aborting their bowling run-up.
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