ICC rejects Al Jazeera match fixing allegations

Accusations of match fixing made by Qatari government-funded news outlet Al Jazeera have been dismissed by the International Cricket Council (ICC).

The allegations were initially made in the 2018 documentary ‘Cricket’s Match Fixers’ broadcast in May 2018, which claimed that two of India’s test matches – one against England in Chennai in 2017 and another against Australia in Ranchi in 2017 – had been fixed.

After conducting an investigation into the film involving four independent betting and cricketing specialists, in which the passages of play were analysed, the ICC has concluded that both matches were ‘entirely predictable’ and as a result ‘implausible as a fix’.

“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,” said Alex Marshall, ICC General Manager – Integrity.

“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.”

Five individuals featured in the programme have also been cleared of any wrongdoing, following the completion of interviews with the ICC Integrity Unit.

Marshall added: “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. 

“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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