County news July 18, 2012

'The guy who approached me was very honest'

ESPNcricinfo staff

"I actually enjoyed his company," says Paul Nixon, the former England wicketkeeper, of the man who offered him millions of pounds to fix a match for Leicestershire.

Nixon is one of the most idiosyncratic English cricket characters of this or any other age and in his new autobiography, Keeping Quiet, he discusses match-fixing openly - but doesn't name the person who offered the cash. "The guy who approached me, we got on really well," he tells Jarrod Kimber in the Cricket Sadist Hour. "He was actually a very honest and straight bloke with me."

The second and more ominous reason for Nixon not revealing his name is because of the fear of retribution. "When there's enormous money being thrown around, you don't know who's in control of that money."

Nixon has tried to be as honest as possible about the dark side of cricket, but still holds back some information that he believes could harm his family. He refers to the "mysterious deaths" of Bob Woolmer and Hansie Cronje as a reason not to disclose everything he knows.

In the interview Nixon also reveals how tight Cronje, a former team-mate, was: "He ate McDonalds and fast food, because it was cheap." Although there were some attacking declarations when Cronje played, Nixon never suspected him of anything like match-fixing. "It was never talked about, because match-fixing didn't exist," he says.

Nixon chats about some more bizarre issues, like the little man who sledges in his ear with negativity, his dyslexia and, perhaps most odd, a séance that he was involved in with Darren Maddy, Darren Stevens and Brad Hodge. Nixon claims that they contacted Ben Hollioake, the England allrounder who died in a car accident aged 24, during a rain-affected match day in a spooky Durham hotel, saying, "At one stage in the séance, all of us were in tears."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on July 18, 2012, 18:57 GMT

    the article is about selling his book.

  • jay on July 18, 2012, 18:22 GMT

    OK, Cronje ate at McDonalds..nice to know that!

  • Dummy4 on July 18, 2012, 16:34 GMT

    I just read this and got nothing about it. Seance...spooky Hotel.. fast food... what is this article supposed to be about?

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