Fixing slur on Sydney Test most disturbing: CA

Melbourne: Rattled by a bookie`s claim that the Sydney Test between Australia and Pakistan was fixed, Cricket Australia today said the allegations are "most disturbing" and called for a thorough investigation into the scandal.

"The reports from the UK are most disturbing and we look forward to the outcome of rigorous investigation by the UK authorities as well as by the ICC," CA chief James Sutherland said.

"It is critical for cricket that the public has confidence in the integrity of the outcome of games, which is why CA and other ICC members have supported the significant world cricket investment in anti corruption over the last decade or more," he added.

In a sting operation carried out by British tabloid `The News of the World`, the bookie, who was arrested and later released on bail, is seen claiming that the Sydney Test, which Australia won by 36 runs, was fixed.

Sutherland said he was not aware of the contents of the sting but if the allegations were true, strict action should be taken.

"We have no knowledge of the current allegations but by their very nature, they demonstrate the absolute importance of world cricket maintaining its vigilance in relation the anti-corruption," he said.

"As Lord Paul Condon, the founder of the ICC anti-corruption process has always said, that vigilance can never be relaxed," he added.

Sutherland said so far CA had not doubts about the Sydney Test in which Pakistan lost nine wickets for a mere 89 runs to give Australia an unlikely win.

"CA had been in no doubt that Australia had won that game on the merit of their on-field performance and will now wait on evidence from UK and ICC investigations before making any further comment," he said in a CA statement.

Seven Pakistani players, three of whom not named so far, have been implicated in the `spot-fixing` scandal after the video recordings of the sting was made public by the tabloid.

The bookie in the tape, Mazhar Majeed, is seen boasting about his links with Pakistan`s Test captain Salman Butt, pacers Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Aamir and wicketkeeper Kamran Akmal.

He even claims to have paid Asif and Aamir to bowl deliberate no balls during the Lord`s Test against England, which the hosts won by an innings and 225 runs yesterday.


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