ICC 'deeply regrets' match-fixing testimony leak
The International Cricket Council (ICC) "deeply regrets" the leaking of evidence in their match-fixing investigation and says New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum is not under investigation.
Cricket's governing body this morning (NZ time) made its first public statement on the issue, almost a week after details emerged in a British newspaper of New Zealand cricketer Lou Vincent's role in match-fixing and the evidence he gave the ICC.
Since then, other evidence gathered by the ICC's anti-corruption unit (ACSU) has been leaked, including McCullum's who said he was approached by "Player X" with an offer to fix matches, which he turned down.
Chris Cairns has since stated that he believed the ICC thought he was "Player X", though he vehemently denied any match-fixing.
The leaks have created a "trial by public opinion" with the attention centred on Cairns and Vincent, and McCullum's evidence.
"Obviously the ICC considers any leak of any kind of information to be an extremely serious matter, particularly, as in this instance, when the nature of the information that has found its way to the media is highly confidential and has been provided in tightly controlled circumstances by individuals to the ACSU as part of ongoing investigations," ICC chief executive Dave Richardson said in a statement today.
"We are taking all steps available to us to urgently investigate how certain information in the form of statements has come to find its way into the media, so that we can provide reassurances to the stakeholders within the sport so that they can continue to place their trust in the hands of the ACSU."
Richardson said some information had been provided to people outside the ICC "so that lines of inquiry could properly be completed", raising the prospect that the leaks had come from outside the ICC.
"It is with grave disappointment that we find ourselves in this situation today," he said.
Richardson emphasised McCullum was not under investigation.
"Whilst we have privately offered our full support to Brendon, we do so now publicly not only to confirm that, by assisting with the ACSU's inquiries, he has acted quite properly in accordance with his responsibilities as a professional cricketer, but also correct any misperception that he is somehow under suspicion," Richardson said.
"He is to be commended for his actions and we deeply regret that aspects of his statement are now in the public domain."
The ICC would not comment on the status of their investigation or whether charges were likely to be laid.
It would also not divulge if international matches were under investigation, "to preserve the anonymity of many of the individuals involved in those investigations and to avoid unnecessary media speculation".
On Vincent, Richardson said: "Lou Vincent has co-operated fully with the ACSU's investigators. It would not be appropriate for the ICC to comment on his position at this stage.
"Nor is the ICC in a position to identify any other individuals that may or may not have been interviewed as part of this, or any other investigation."
Richardson made no mention of Chris Cairns.
On media reports that McCullum had told the ACSU that there was an ICC official who advised him how to launder money through real estate in Dubai, Richardson said: "We are happy that no ICC official (whether past or present) is under investigation."
Richardson said the ACSU had made "very good" progress since its inception in the fight against corruption.
The ACSU received 472 intelligence reports in 2013, more than double the 222 it received two years earlier.
More than 1300 individuals received anti-corruption education in 2013, and he said the increased number of reports made to the ACSU in 2013 indicated an increased awareness of the threat of corruption.