County news

Sussex confirm bookie approach

Andrew McGlashan

November 17, 2012

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A general view of the playing area at the County Ground in Hove, April 17, 2010
A 2011 CB40 match at Hove between Sussex and Kent was the focus of match-fixing allegations © Getty Images
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Sussex have confirmed that their CB40 match against Kent at Hove in 2011 was investigated by the ICC's Anti Corruption and Security Unit after players reported they were approached to fix the match.

Sussex issued a statement on Friday evening following claims in a newly published book by betting journalist Ed Hawkins, Bookie Gambler Fixer Spy: A Journey to the Corrupt Heart of Cricket's Underworld, that the contest was fixed. The subsequent investigation did not produce any evidence that the result was manipulated.

"The club can confirm approaches were made to players regarding this game," said the statement. "Working with the PCA, the club investigated and reported the issue at the time, passing all the information promptly to the ECB after the match.

"In conjunction with the ICC, a full investigation was undertaken with nothing untoward coming to light, and the club's prompt action receiving praise. There have been no further reports to the club concerning any Sussex matches. As a club, we are committed to ensuring that the game's integrity is not breached at any time and will continue to take a full and leading role in the ECB's endeavours to protect the game."

The incident will reignite concerns about the security of county matches that are broadcast on the subcontinent, opening them up to the vast illegal betting market.

Earlier this year Mervyn Westfield, the former Essex seamer, was jailed for four months for his part in spot-fixing during a CB40 match against Durham in 2009 where he agreed to concede a set number of runs in an over in return for £6,000. Danish Kaneria, the Pakistan legspinner, was banned for life for his part in the scam and his appeal against the sanctions is due to be heard in December.

Andrew McGlashan is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

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Andrew McGlashan Assistant Editor Andrew arrived at ESPNcricinfo via Manchester and Cape Town, after finding the assistant editor at a weak moment as he watched England's batting collapse in the Newlands Test. Andrew began his cricket writing as a freelance covering Lancashire during 2004 when they were relegated in the County Championship. In fact, they were top of the table when he began reporting on them but things went dramatically downhill. He likes to let people know that he is a supporter of county cricket, a fact his colleagues will testify to and bemoan in equal quantities.
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