Anti-corruption chief slams match-fixing speculation

The head of the ICC's corruption-busting force said that people who linked the death of Pakistan coach Bob Woolmer to match-fixing should now "shut up."

Paul Condon, chairman of the Anti-Corruption and Security Unit (ACSU), also said he was concerned that Jamaican police were so ready to embrace the theory that Woolmer was murdered.

Jamaica police commissioner Lucius Thomas announced that Woolmer's death during the World Cup nearly three months ago was from natural causes and that there was no reason to suspect foul play or match-fixing.

"The ICC welcomes the true facts of Bob Woolmer's sad death being made public," Condon said in a statement on the ICC's website. Condon said the reputation of the World Cup and the game of cricket were both "unnecessarily tarnished as the theories about Woolmer's death became wilder and more bizarre with many of those theories suggesting a link to corruption and match-fixing.

"To those who suggest that corruption is still widespread throughout the game of cricket -- and there have been plenty of people who have peddled such comments to anyone prepared listen in the aftermath of Bob's unfortunate death -- we have one clear message: put up or shut up," he added.

Sarfraz Nawaz, former Pakistan paceman, alleged that Woolmer's death was connected with the "match-fixing mafia" and that the Pakistan World Cup games were fixed. It triggered a variety of accusations that Woolmer was about to spill the beans about match-fixing in his forthcoming books, claims denied by his co-author Ivo Tennant.

Condon said he spent several days in Kingston, Jamaica, when he spoke to senior investigators, who said at the time that pathology tests showed Woolmer was likely strangled. "The death and the location had none of the obvious hallmarks of a murder and it remains a concern that the murder theory was so readily embraced," Condon said.