County news

Kent 'heard nothing' of Sussex approach

Tim Wigmore

November 19, 2012

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Adam Ball celebrates removing Robin Kelly, England U-19 v Ireland U-19, Grace Road, July, 18, 2012
Adam Ball's 2-31 helped Kent win the match targeted by fixers in August 2011 © Getty Images
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Kent have said they were not aware of the recent match fixing allegations regarding their CB40 match against Sussex in 2011 until the claims were made in a newly published book.

Bookie, Gambler, Fixer Spy: A Journey to the Corrupt Heart of Cricket's Underworld, claims to reveal details of match-fixing in cricket, including an approach made to Sussex players to fix a CB40 match against Kent at Hove, which was televised live.

Sussex admitted their players were approached and a report was made to the ECB. An internal investigation was also held where no evidence of wrongdoing was found. Kent have stated the publication of the book was the first they heard of the incident.

"We'd actually heard nothing," chairman of cricket Graham Johnson said. "When it came out in the press that was the first Kent were aware of it. Sussex said they were looking into certain things and it was internal. We've said is there anything you need from us but they said it's internal and dealt with."

Commenting on the dangers of corruption in county cricket, Johnson added, "Obviously history tells us that if stuff starts getting televised in the subcontinent it raises the profile and the potential for that to happen."

Kent chief executive Jamie Clifford admitted the recent allegations had shown the dangers of match and spot fixing. "You've got the issues relating to players at Essex and now the revelations from Sussex about players being approached. Those are two of our neighbouring counties so I think we'd be naïve to say 'oh we don't think there's any problem'. We have to be alive to the dangers."

Clifford also explained the steps the club was taking against corruption. "Our staff, both playing and off-field are briefed regularly about the potential that exists in relation to match and spot fixing and urged to be extremely vigilant in that regard. They know very clearly that as a club there's no way we'd tolerate any involvement of any individual in something like that. The onus is on them if they're approached to make it clear to us at a very early stage that that has happened."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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