Perth - Cricket chiefs voiced "grave concern" on
Thursday after a match-fixing bombshell rocked the Ashes series with a British
newspaper claiming to have exposed attempts to rig the third Test in Perth.
Two bookmakers, including an Indian "Mr Big",
allegedly offered to sell details of rigged periods of play which could be bet
on to win huge sums, The Sun reported.
One of them claimed to have worked on the scam with former
and current internationals including a World Cup-winning all-rounder. They said
they liaised with a fixer in Australian cricket known as "The Silent
No Australia or England players were named as being
The tabloid said their undercover reporters were asked for
up to $187 000 to "spot fix" markets such as the exact amount of runs
scored in an over.
"Before match. I will tell you this over, this runs and
then you have to put all the bets on that over," one of the bookmakers was
quoted as saying.
Asked if it was a good source, he said: "Absolutely
The International Cricket Council said the revelations were
of "grave concern".
"We take all allegations of corruption seriously and
welcome The Sun's offer to share this information," it said.
Cricket Australia said it took a zero-tolerance approach to
anyone bringing the game into disrepute.
"The allegations raised by media outlets are of serious
concern," it said in a statement ahead of the third Test starting on Thursday
in Perth, where England are battling to avoid going 3-0 down in the five-Test
"Cricket Australia will co-operate fully with any ICC
Anti-Corruption Unit investigation."
It added that "players are able to report any
suspicions they have on a confidential basis and in the past there has been a
strong Australian player culture to do so".
The Indian pair - secretly filmed at hotels in Dubai and
Delhi during the paper's four-month investigation - claimed corrupt players
would signal the fix was on by making a subtle gesture on the field, such as
changing their gloves.
Spotters in the crowd then tell bookies who put millions of
bets into the illegal Indian betting market.
The Indian fixers claimed they could get players to follow
"scripts" - such how many runs would be scored in a session, or an
innings, when a wicket would fall and what a team would do if it won the toss,
The Sun said.
"I will give you work in Ashes Test. Session runs.
Maybe day one, two, three. We have two session work, one session costs $69 000,
two sessions $138 000," it cited one of the men as saying.
"If you are interested (we) will talk to the Silent
Man. If you want to go with him alright, but you will not sit in meeting."
The Sun said the men also bragged to their reporters, who
posed as financiers for underworld London bookies, that they could corrupt
games in lucrative Twenty20 leagues such as Australia's Big Bash and the Indian
Premier League (IPL).
They claimed to have carried out 17 to 18 fixes with two IPL
Cricket has been dogged by corruption cases in recent years.
In February, two Pakistan players - Sharjeel Khan and Khalid
Latif - were caught in a spot-fixing scandal which rocked their Twenty20 league
held in United Arab Emirates.
They were both banned for five years.
More recently, a probe was launched by the ICC into pitch
tampering claims against a ground official ahead of the second one-day
international between India and New Zealand in Pune in October.