Spot-fixing controversy September 1, 2010

Watson blames ICC for Pakistan mess


Shane Watson has questioned whether the ICC really wants to eradicate match-fixing and spot-fixing from cricket due to fears the problem might run too deep. A day after confirming he had reported two approaches from bookmakers during last year's tour of England, Watson blamed the ICC for allowing the issue to fester.

Watson said the fact a newspaper was responsible for highlighting the irregularities involving Pakistan's recent performances, which were revealed during the fourth Test in England, showed the ICC's system was unsuccessful. "The ICC anti-corruption unit is not really working," he said during a sponsor's function in Sydney.

"That's totally to do with the ICC, so they really need to step in and really get to the bottom of it. Maybe they don't want to get to the bottom of it because it might run too deep."

The ICC has defended its approach but Haroon Lorgat, the chief executive, did admit the anti-corruption and security unit had no power to arrest or go undercover. Lorgat has promised "prompt and decisive" action if any of the players are found guilty.

Watson said the situation needed to be sorted out "as soon as possible" to maintain credibility and interest in the game. "People might turn away from cricket because they don't know [whether] what they are seeing is actually the true facts of cricket," he said.

Meanwhile, Mark Taylor, the former Australia captain, said talk of banning Pakistan from world cricket was not justified. "I don't agree with that, I think it's too harsh a penalty for one nation," Taylor, a Cricket Australia board member, said in Sydney.

"If they have one person, two people, three people involved in match-fixing or fixing certain deliveries ... to throw the whole nation? No, I'm not for that. I think it would not be a good thing for world cricket to have Pakistan not involved."

Peter English is the Australasia editor of Cricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Keith on September 6, 2010, 11:20 GMT

    News of the World (NOTW) in its latest spot-fixing coverage (5 Sept.) has finally responded to demands that it provide some sort of proof that its reporting has not been rigged. What is on offer is certainly not definitive, but it goes a considerable way towards validation. I continue to find NOTW excessively unsavoury and loutish, at best. It came very close to entrapment of Yasir Hameed, and NOTW may have pressurised him to nearly the point of extortion, given what is contained in Hameed's official statement. Nevertheless, if what NOTW say about their funds paid to the fixer ending up in the hands of the three main figures under investigation, it really does not appear that there is much room for manoeuvre left. I wish the authorities well in fully and finally sorting the matter.

  • Zohaib on September 6, 2010, 0:36 GMT

    this is rubbish... at first i thought trio are guilty, but lookin at the recent deveopments it all sounds too fake-- what utter nonsence-- every other day you see every other player being approached.

    and for all those who think they are guilty and what not,wait for the investigation to complete - don't be soo naive. cheers

  • Keith on September 3, 2010, 14:29 GMT

    RookieLankan asked the quesiton yesterday about England as a venue for spot and match fixing. Who can tell at this stage if the UK is a centre of activity, but it is definitely part of the action. I would ask NSWaus and others who agree with him to have a rethink about the importance of this fact. The social tone of a country has much to do with the kind of activity that can occur there on a regular basis. The more we look through the lens of these three allegedly fixed no-balls, the more comes into view ... and the less certain it is what exactly we are seeing. Consider the chief source, News of the World: one of its editors was jailed in 2007 for hacking into mobile voice messages. And by all accounts, this remains a regular practice at NOTW (check out BBC News online). So with low standards of behaviour like this, can we trust the videos and audio at face value? NOTW needs to be very clear about its investigative practices with the police and also the concerned public.

  • Dummy4 on September 3, 2010, 7:34 GMT

    hell enter the cricket as PCB ..... i read all the comment but i feel here lots talking about the Randiv that is just a match plan just can't compare to pak player. So mr indian Fan forget u ppl what the sehwag did with SL in a test( boundry controversy). So Randiv N sehwag did a game plan. Watson was correct ICC is very very poor in these case before and now we can see they must do quick action against the pak players even PCB. This is not a first time Pak players did fixing but what did they do against them. just punished a match or series and again in the team. This time time to show for others teams and Pakistan what ICC can do. Must life ban for them or even PCB.

  • mythily on September 3, 2010, 4:18 GMT

    To Rookie lankan: mate ,you forgot to mention RANDIV NO BALL to sehwag which was done deliberately to avoid getting century for sehwag.hope it could be spot fixing to do NO BOWL by RANDIV.By the way dont drag england in this spot fixing, clearly they are not responsible for what it happened with pakistan team.

  • Evan on September 3, 2010, 2:04 GMT

    When are the ICC anti-corruption unit going to investigate the New Zealand team? They seemed to have slipped under the radar. Surely there has been some "fixing" going on, this may explain the horrendous test record that New Zealand fans like myself have had to endure over the last 20 years since Hadlee, Chatfield, Crowe, Wright, Coney, Bracewell etc retired. I would start by investigating such players as Chris Martin who has under performed on such a regular and consistent basis with bat (my retina's scream when he bats with the horror of it all) with the ball he has an amazing strike rate against the Aussies taking a wicket in every 5th innings he bowls in and in the field he not only continues to shell catches but tips the ball for six as well but somehow he still manages to make the starting XI. Please investigate this cricketing actrocity asap thank you. Regards Rommel.

  • Dummy4 on September 2, 2010, 23:05 GMT

    While I too would wish that these allegations turn out to be false, the evidence thus far appears to be stacked against the trio. Am not sure on what basis the Pakistan diplomat has concluded that the players are innocent. Even so, all the facts of the case must be heard - IN PUBLIC. There is far too much secrecy and politics with regards to the affairs of the ICC. Time to have the ICC up for scrutiny too, not just the players. The talk about expelling Pakistan for the 'sins' (if they are proved to be sins) of a few is preposterous. I agree absolutely with Mark Taylor.

  • bharath74 on September 2, 2010, 21:33 GMT

    I am Indian but i sincerely hope all these allegations are fake. International cricketers should just stop saying that they were approached by a Bookie once. These cricketers who are making such statements are purely attention seekers, they should make a statement as soon as they were approached by a bookie not after 250 yrs.

  • Zerubabel on September 2, 2010, 17:57 GMT

    Hello RookieLankan pls mind your words I really dont see any reason why are you bringing Shewag into picture on spot fixing. It will be more appropriate to say Randiv and Dilshan would to have taken money from bookies to prevent Shewag getting a 100 which as really affected the result against the six from Shewag. Which predictably appears as spot fixing. I ICC MUST INVESTIGATE this this BIG NO BALL bowled by Randiv. Check this one... you might pull out some dead bones..

  • Rizvi on September 2, 2010, 16:59 GMT

    So finally the truth is coming out many players have been approached for match fixing.. Yes pakistan as always is in the middle of it, they will always be.. I wonder how many other cricketers would have actually taken for fixing and i am thinking there a quite a few, may west indians, MAYBE EVEN SHAWAG HE PROBABLY BETS THAT HE WILL GET TO HIS 100 WITH A SIX, now if he takes money to score a hundred can he still be banned for life????? he is effecting the final result of the match..

    well to the point, has anyone noticed where all these match fixing allegations are starting, where all these players have been approached? the answer is ENGLAND so doesn't one need to think that something might actually be wrong in ENGLAND? why are these players being approached in england? wouldn't england players then be approached even more often that the rest?

    maybe all international Teams should stop touing England until england can solve this problem

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