'No surprise' Black Caps involved in match-fixing

Last updated 09:08 05/12/2013
Iain O'Brien
NOT SURPRISED: Former Black Cap Iain O'Brien isn't surprised that Kiwis are under investigation for match-fixing.

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Former Black Caps bowler Iain O'Brien says suggestions New Zealand cricketers are involved in match-fixing should come as no surprise.

O'Brien's comment came as the International Cricket Council confirmed that its anti-corruption and security unit was investigating allegations of historic fixing activity by New Zealanders.

None of the New Zealanders being investigated is currently playing.

As the news broke today O'Brien, who played for the Black Caps between 2005 and 2009, was one of the few players to offer a view via his Twitter account.

"If your [sic] surprised that NZ'ers are involved in match fixing, you're, sadly, niave [sic]. I highly doubt any Countries players are 100% clean," O'Brien tweeted.

The ICC had initially refused to comment on the story but this morning released a short statement under the headline: ICC confirms investigation into former New Zealand cricketers.

"Following the publication of an article in a leading New Zealand newspaper earlier today in which it is alleged that a small number of former New Zealand cricketers had engaged in fixing activity in historic cricket matches and were being investigated by the ICC's anti-corruption and security unit (ACSU), the ICC confirms that it has indeed been working closely over the past few months with its colleagues in the domestic anti-corruption units of member boards to investigate these and related matters," it said.

"The ICC and all of its members maintain a zero-tolerance attitude towards corruption in the sport, and the ACSU will continue to collaborate with relevant individuals in order to complete its investigation process.

"Naturally, as the investigation remains ongoing and nobody has been charged with any offence, no further comment will be made by the ICC or by NZC."

New Zealand Cricket was similarly short on details as major embarrassment was cast on its game just as the opening test of the international season here was being played in Dunedin.

"New Zealand Cricket is aware the International Cricket Council is investigating a small number of former New Zealand cricketers. As this is an ICC investigation, unfortunately NZC is not able to comment further," NZC said in a statement.

New Zealand allrounder Jacob Oram told LiveSport radio this morning he had no knowledge of any specifics around the New Zealand allegations but believed they were harmful.

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"It's disappointing to think if it does come out correct that New Zealand is involved . . . that is disappointing for New Zealand's reputation around the world," he said.

Like O'Brien, Oram hinted that match-fixing remained a major problem despite efforts to wipe it out.

Oram has taken his game around the world and was playing in the Bangladesh Premier League when Bangladesh captain Mohammad Ashraful admitted match-fixing.

"I think every cricketer would tell you that they have raised an eyebrow once or twice, thinking 'that just smells a bit fishy'," Oram said..

"There have been a number of games when I've thought something's not quite right."

Oram believed cricket needed to deal out harsh punishments.

"Something needs to be done to get rid of this in cricket because it's a bit of a cancer," he said.

- Fairfax Media

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