ICC dismisses Al Jazeera documentary match fixing claims

The International Cricket Council (ICC) has rejected claims made by news channel Al Jazeera in the Middle East broadcaster’s ‘Cricket’s Match Fixers’ documentary that two of India’s Test matches were fixed, concluding the investigation into the film.

Released in May 2018, the documentary claimed that India’s fixture against England in Chennai in 2016 was fixed, along with India against Australia in Ranchi a year later in 2017.

However, after engaging four independent betting and cricketing specialists to analyse the passages of play, the ICC concluded that they were ‘entirely predictable’ and ‘therefore 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.”

The ICC also cleared five individuals featured in the programme of any charges after conducting interviews between the suspects and the ICC Integrity Unit.

Marshall continued: “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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