ICC denies World Cup semi-final investigation

The ICC has dismissed a report in a British newspaper that it is investigating the 2011 World Cup semi-final between India and Pakistan over fears of match-fixing.

The Sunday Times ran a story which claimed to expose further corruption in cricket, including taped conversations with a Delhi bookmaker. The newspaper reported that the bookmaker alleged the India-Pakistan semi-final in Mohali was fixed, although he offered no evidence to support the claims.

However the ICC, which was quoted in support of the original Sunday Times story without specific mention of the semi-final, said there was no evidence to prompt an investigation into the match.

"The story carried by the newspaper, in which it has claimed that the ICC is investigating the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 semi-final between India and Pakistan, is baseless and misleading. The ICC has no reason or evidence to require an investigation into this match," Haroon Lorgat, the ICC chief executive, said. "It is indeed sad for spurious claims to be made which only serve to cause doubt on the semi-final."

New Zealand Cricket also came out strongly, rejecting claims in the article made by the bookmaker that some of their players were involved in fixing. "We have complete confidence that the claims made are baseless and have no credibility," NZC chief executive David White said.

The Sunday Times story focussed on the alleged role of Bollywood actresses being used as honey traps for international cricketers, and also included comments from bookmakers about how English domestic cricket is now an easy target.

In the past six months, jail sentences were handed out to three Pakistan players - Salman Butt, captain at the time, and two fast bowlers, Mohammad Amir and Mohammad Asif for spot-fixing in 2010; Meryvn Westfield became the first player to receive a custodial sentence for fixing in English county cricket; and, in the High Court in London, Chris Cairns' libel action against the former IPL commissioner, Lalit Modi, brought allegations about corruption in the now-defunct Indian Cricket League into focus.