Melbourne: The spot-fixing trial in London has thrown up Australian names and a stunned Cricket Australia said the claims made by the alleged bookie seem "outlandish" as had there been any truth in them, CA would have known and acted. (Agencies)
The trial, in which three Pakistani players are accused, has had its fair share of drama with alleged bookie Mazhar Majeed's taped conversations with a journalist who conducted a sting operation on him, throwing up names of other international players as well.
“According to Majeed, Australian players were notorious for betting on 'brackets', periods of matches in which some bookmakers accept bets about how many runs would be scored,” a newspaper reported.
CA chief James Sutherland said the claims “appear to be outlandish, and made by a person of dubious repute.”
“These would appear to be baseless allegations, but at the same time cricket needs to stand very firm in its conviction against corruption in our sport. If there are allegations that have any sense of credibility around them then it's very important we take all of the necessary action to investigate,” he said.
“If we charge players and find them guilty we will have no qualms about issuing a life sentence on players who are found guilty of match fixing," Sutherland added. Sutherland said he would get in touch with the ICC to take stock of the match-fixing investigations. In my dealings with the ICC I'm very confident I would know and understand if there were concerns about Australian players, allegations about players or investigations afoot in regards to Australian players. I have heard none of that.”
Majeed, in fact, has also dropped names of Hollywood superstar Brad Pitt and tennis ace Roger Federer, claiming that he knows them “very well”.
The jury at the ongoing trial was played recordings of meetings between the London-based agent Majeed and former 'News of the World journalist' Mazher Mahmood, who was posing as a rich Indian businessman seeking major international players for a tournament.
Melbourne: The spot-fixing trial in London has thrown up Australian names and a stunned Cricket Australia said the claims made by the alleged bookie seem "outlandish" as had there been any truth in them, CA would have known and acted.