Cricket

IPL players were 'approached'

2010-08-31 14:03
Atul Wassan (File)

New Delhi - Indian Premier League (IPL) cricketers had been approached about spot-fixing over the last two-and-a-half years, former India player Atul Wassan said on Tuesday.

VIDEO: News of the World match-fixing sting

Wassan told Reuters that a couple of IPL players, whom he would not name, confided to him that they had received approaches about spot-fixing which they had turned down.

Earlier on Tuesday, Australian all-rounder Shane Watson and wicketkeeper Brad Haddin told reporters in Sydney that an Indian bookmaker had approached them during last year's England tour.

The same bookmaker contacted the Australian pace duo of Brett Lee and Mitchell Johnson during the tour, an Australian Associated Press (AAP) report said.

British police and the International Cricket Council (ICC) are investigating a newspaper report alleging that three Pakistan players were bribed to fix incidents during last week's fourth test against England in London.

Wassan declined to disclose details about the approaches to IPL players.

"I cannot specify but some players were approached and this is common knowledge here over the last two-and-a-half years," he said.

"This is not confined to IPL either and now you have Watson and Haddin also coming out, saying they too have been approached. This gives you an idea how much threat spot-fixing poses to the game."

Watson told the AAP he had initially mistaken the bookmaker for a fan.

"(He) was only too kind with his praise about how I'd been playing and he enjoyed the way I played and then it got down to a bit more: 'We'd like to take you out for drinks' and that sort of thing.

"I didn't think too much more of it until I found out a bit more information and that he was actually one of the illegal bookmakers."

Watson said the man had not gone into any details. "It wasn't an approach about a game or anything in that regard. We're very well educated about what we can and can't do. We know exactly where the line is."

Haddin said he was surprised when someone knocked on his door and asked if he could have a drink with him.

""I quickly rang (team manager) Steve Bernard and (ICC security manager) John Rhodes just to tell them something weird had just happened," Haddin said.

"They checked footage of who the person was and it was someone that they were well aware of. I'd never seen the person (before) or never heard from him or seen him since."

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