Vincent confirms ACSU involvement
Three former New Zealand players, including Lou Vincent, are being investigated by the ICC's anti-corruption and security unit. The news, first reported by New Zealand Herald, was confirmed by the ICC and New Zealand Cricket - without mentioning names - before Vincent acknowledged he was one of the three under investigation.
Chris Cairns, whose name figured in media reports on the issue, released a statement on Thursday saying he had not been contacted by the ICC or NZC in regard to any investigation of alleged fixing.
The story emerged from New Zealand on Thursday morning, with the Herald saying the ACSU had been in the country for four months as part of a match and spot-fixing investigation. NZC did, however, confirm that the matches involved were not in New Zealand or under their jurisdiction.
Vincent made his involvement public through a brief statement. "I wish to let everyone know that I am cooperating with an ongoing ICC Anti-Corruption investigation that has been made public today," he said.
"This investigation is bound by a number of rules and regulations that mean I am unable to make any further public comment. I will personally talk to the public when I am able to. In the meantime I cannot comment. Please respect me and my family's privacy until such time."
Cairns' statement came after he told Fairfax Media: "We need to let the investigation by the ICC run its course."
In his second, public, statement, he said: "No representative of the ICC, New Zealand Cricket or the New Zealand Players' Association has contacted me in regard to any connection by me to an investigation into alleged fixing. I have no information, and was therefore shocked and dismayed to discover the speculation in today's media.
"Twenty months ago, the High Court in England ruled that I've done nothing wrong - which is on record for everyone to see. Like you, I will be looking for answers."
His reference to the High Court related to a suit he filed - and won - against former IPL chairman Lalit Modi over a defamatory tweet sent in January 2010, in which Modi referred to Cairns' alleged involvement in match-fixing as the reason for barring him from the IPL auction.
David White, the CEO of New Zealand Cricket, confirmed that he knew the identity of the players involved, but clarified that the players were not currently active and the matches in question had not taken place in New Zealand.
"New Zealand Cricket is aware that the International Cricket Council is investigating a small number of New Zealand cricketers," White said in Dunedin. "We have been aware of this investigation for a number of months and we are shocked and surprised by the allegations. We support the ICC's investigation as corruption has no place in our our sport.
"However, I would like to clarify a number of matters. No current New Zealand players are being investigated, no games played in New Zealand are being investigated and lastly no matches under NZC jurisdiction are being investigated. This is an ongoing ICC investigation and I simply can't comment further."
When pressed for further details, such as names, timescales and when the matches in question took place, he repeated the "no comment" line.
Current fast bowler Tim Southee was asked after the day's play of the Dunedin Test - where New Zealand were playing West Indies - whether the story had been talked about. "There were a few conversations going around but it is out of our hands, there's nothing we can do about it," Southee said. "Once we got to the ground we got our game faces on and concentrated on the job in hand."
An ICC statement, issued after the Herald story broke, read: "Following the publication of an article in a leading New Zealand newspaper earlier today in which it is alleged that a small number of former New Zealand cricketers had engaged in fixing activity in historic cricket matches and were being investigated by the ICC's anti-corruption and security unit (ACSU), the ICC confirms that it has indeed been working closely over the past few months with its colleagues in the domestic anti-corruption units of member boards to investigate these and related matters."
"The ICC and all of its members maintain a zero-tolerance attitude towards corruption in the sport, and the ACSU will continue to collaborate with relevant individuals in order to complete its investigation process.
"Naturally, as the investigation remains ongoing and nobody has been charged with any offence, no further comment will be made by the ICC or by NZC."
New Zealand is set to play a central role in world cricket over the next 15 months. It hosts the World Cup Qualifiers in January then is joint-host, alongside Australia, for the 2015 World Cup.