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ICC rejects match-fixing claims involving Team India in documentary, says 'it lacks credibility'
All five participants who featured in the documentary were also interviewed by the ICC Integrity Unit
The International Cricket Council has rejected match-fixing allegations made in the documentary 'Cricket's Match Fixers' by Al Jazeera. The documentary programme was broadcast on May 27, 2018, where it was alleged that two international matches involving the Indian cricket team were fixed. The matches under the scanner India's game against England in Chennai in 2016 and India vs Australia match in Ranchi in 2017.
Citing lack of credible and reliable evidence in the documentary, ICC said no charges will be brought under any of the five participants to the Code who featured in the documentary. ICC had taken help of independent betting and cricketing specialists to conduct the investigation into the claims made in the documentary.
"No charges will be bought under the ICC Anti-Corruption Code against any of the five Participants to the Code who featured in the programme due to insufficient credible and reliable evidence," ICC said in a statement on Monday.
ICC deployed four independent betting and cricket experts to verify the footage and passages of play highlighted in the programme were unusual in any way. The four experts noted that the passages of play identified in the documentary were not unusual and there was not enough evidence to conclude that the play was fixed, as claimed.
All five participants who featured in the documentary were also interviewed by the ICC Integrity Unit and there was insufficient evidence based on the normal thresholds applied through the Code to lay any charges.
"We welcome the reporting of alleged corrupt activity within cricket as there is no place for such conduct in our sport, but we also need to be satisfied there is sufficient evidence to sustain charges against Participants," said Alex Marshall, ICC General Manager, Integrity.
"In the case of the claims aired in this programme, there are fundamental weaknesses in each of the areas we have investigated that make the claims unlikely and lacking in credibility, a viewpoint that has been corroborated by four independent experts," he added.
Marshall stated that ICC is open to reinvestigating the case if any fresh substantial evidence is presented to them in the future.
"Should any new substantial evidence come to light I will re-examine the case. But at present I am comfortable with the conclusion of the investigation and the thoroughness with which it was undertaken," Marshall concluded.