Melbourne: Australia chief coach Tim Nielsen has revealed that he has come across people seeking cricketers` information for "sinister reasons" while on tours with youngsters being the most vulnerable to bookies` advances.
Nielsen`s comments come a week after Australian players Shane Watson and Brad Haddin confirmed they had been approached by an illegal bookmaker while Brett Lee and Mitchell Johnson were also targeted in England last year.
"I`ve spoken to our manager once or twice about things that have happened, but nothing has ever come of them. You meet so many people, go to so many functions and events on the road and it`s hard to differentiate between what`s good and what`s a potential problem.”
"People love the idea of talking to a player or the coach and getting information behind the scenes. That`s all innocent. But there are people who are doing it for sinister reasons," Nielsen was quoted as saying.
Nielsen was speaking in the wake of three Pakistani cricketers -- Pakistan skipper Salman Butt and fast bowlers Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Aamir -- being suspended by the ICC and charged with breach of the sport`s anti-corruption laws in relation to a `spot-fixing` scandal.
Nielsen said young players are particularly vulnerable to fixing influences and it was their responsibility to understand how easily things can go wrong.
"When they come into the team everything`s big and bright. They love the attention. It can be hard for them to realise that it`s not normal for people to be throwing money at you or inviting you out and they have to be very careful not to get caught up.”
"The players have to be willing to make a call themselves and say `I`m not sure about this` and leave. We know now that it`s not OK any more to simply say, `Oh, he`s seems like a decent bloke` and stick around for a chat. We talk about it every tour we go on. And it`s not just corruption, it`s drugs, it`s dealing with hostile crowds and other things that can come up," Nielsen said.
Nielsen said being on tour meant being prepared for problematic situations.
"It was the players` responsibility to understand how easily things could go wrong. Management people – meaning captains, vice-captains, coaches - can`t be with the players all the time," he said.