Oz team 'corruption free'

2014-05-21 09:20
Michael Clarke (Getty Images)

Sydney - Captain Michael Clarke stressed on Wednesday that no Australian teams he has played with have been involved in corruption, saying it was wrong for all cricketers to be tarred by match-fixing.

The International Cricket Council has a long-running investigation into the scourge, and reports emerged this week that New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum had been asked to fix games.

McCullum is not under investigation, but his evidence to the ICC's anti-corruption unit leaked to Britain's Daily Mail reveals he was approached by a "world renowned former cricketer" in 2008.

The Kiwi captain reportedly said that "Player X, whom he described as "a hero who became a friend", offered him up to 107 000 pounds ($180 000) to underperform in matches.

"(X) said that the 'Big Boys' in international cricket were doing it and he didn't want me to miss out," the Mail reported him saying, with the first approach in Kolkata before the inaugural Indian Premier League and the second in England the same year.

Clarke said Australian players were taught from a young age about corruption and what to be on the look-out for in terms of approaches and knew the difference between right and wrong.

"I am extremely confident about the players that I've played with," he told reporters.

"For this Australian team, they all know very clearly that there's no room for corruption in our team. A big part of our job is to uphold the integrity of our sport and I think we do that well.

"I can only talk about Australian players, but in this country we are very well educated and I'm very happy, satisfied and confident that Australian players are making the right decisions."

Clarke refused to comment on individual players when asked about former New Zealand player Chris Cairns, who has acknowledged his name has been linked to Player X but denied any involvement with corruption or match-fixing.

"I think everybody involved in the game is disappointed that things like this happen, but I want to pay credit to the ICC and Cricket Australia for the work they put in to try and stop this," he said.

"I don't think we should be tarring all the players with the same brush. What we've seen of late is it's a minority that is dealing with these sort of issues. Like I say, I would be disappointed if the supporters and fans of cricket think that this is happening a lot more than it is."

"I don't care who it is, I want to see it stamped out," he added.

Clarke, who said he had not picked up a bat for several months after a bruising tour of South Africa and seeing Australia reclaim the top spot in ICC Test rankings, said he was fully recovered.

Paceman Ryan Harris, who underwent knee surgery after the series win in South Africa, said he too was on the road to full recovery, and "just about" walking normally for the first time in two years.

Read more on:    australia  |  michael clarke  |  cricket

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