Close to finishing match-fixing probe: ICC

Wellington: The International Cricket Council said it is close to announcing its findings in a match-fixing case, which shook the game after New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum`s testimony in the matter was leaked to the media.

The furore started after McCullum`s statement to the ICC`s Anti-Corruption and Security Unit (ACSU) was leaked to the media.

In that statement, McCullum claimed that he was unsuccessfully approached for match-fixing by a top player, who has been identified merely as `Player X`, in 2008.

Speculation is rife that `Player X` is none other than McCullum`s former New Zealand teammate Chris Cairns, who has vehemently denied the charge.

"We are at the end of the investigation. It is close to being finalised and I`m sure Chris Cairns will be spoken to and given an opportunity to put his side of the story," ICC CEO Dave Richardson told `Radio Sport` here.

"The investigations that we are talking about are at an advanced stage and should be tied up a lot sooner than that.

Having said that, I`ve seen how when law enforcement agencies are involved it does take some time," he added.

Reports here claim that Cairns will today leave for London to meet ICC ACSU officials and the Metropolitan Police.

Apart from McCullum, who has been declared all-clear by ICC, the testimony of former New Zealand batsman Lou Vincent was also leaked.

Vincent, however, is an accused in the matter and has been charged on 14 counts of corruption by the England and Wales Cricket Board for allegedly fixing matches in the County Championships.

"Part of it does involve a police investigation in the UK, which I can`t really vouch for as to when that will be finalised. But certainly from our perspective the investigations are close to finality and hopefully we should be making announcements pretty soon," Richardson said.

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