Dubai: The ICC on Monday dismissed the fixing claims made by an Al Jazeera documentary in 2018, saying that there are “insufficient grounds to bring charges under the ICC Anti-Corruption Code” against any of the five participants who featured in the programme.
On May 27, 2018, an investigative documentary titled “Cricket’s Match Fixers” was aired by the Al Jazeera which claimed that the India-Australia Test in Ranchi (2017) and the India-England Test in Chennai (2016) were fixed.
The Dubai-based governing body in a statement on Monday said that it had engaged four independent betting and cricketing specialists to assess whether the passages of play highlighted in the programme were unusual in any way.
After the investigation, all four specialists concluded that those passages of play, which were identified in the programme as being allegedly fixed, were “entirely predictable, and therefore implausible as a fix.”
The comprehensive investigation, the ICC revealed, focused on three main areas: the claims made by the programme, the suspects who were part of it and how the programme gathered evidence.
All five participants of the documentary programme were also interviewed by the ICC Integrity Unit, which in turn concluded that there is “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.
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,’ Alex Marshall, ICC General Manager (Integrity) said.
“On the basis of the programme, the Participants to the Code who were filmed appear to have behaved in a questionable manner, however, we have been unable to assess the full context of the conversations that took place beyond what was seen on screen versus what the Participants claim actually happened. This combined with the absence of any other credible evidence means there are insufficient grounds to bring charges under the ICC Anti-Corruption Code
“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,’ he added.