No match-fixing gag on commentators - Sky

LIAM NAPIER
Last updated 14:46 05/12/2013

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Sky Television has denied gagging its cricket commentary team from discussing New Zealand Cricket's match-fixing scandal on air during the current test series between the Black Caps and the West Indies.

The International Cricket Council (ICC) has confirmed it is investigating three former New Zealand Cricketers over alleged corruption.

Sky's commentary team - consisting of former New Zealand internationals Simon Doull, Ian Smith, Chris Cairns, Craig McMillan, Craig Cumming, Mark Richardson and former West Indies fast bowler Ian Bishop - have not mentioned the hot topic in Dunedin this morning despite several of them commenting on radio about the bombshell scandal. 

"No, I'm not aware we have given anyone a directive of that sort," Sky's corporate communications spokeswomen Kirsty Way said when asked if the commentary team had been told not to discuss the subject. 

But she added: "It would be speculation and could be difficult territory if they attempt to do so.  It's not a news show so it's not a format for us to discuss current affairs or speculate.

"We've read the story. There's a lot of detail missing. It's just not the format to bring it up. We've done it in the past where there's been issues with cricket. We just focus on the match. A news or current affairs show is more the place for that discussion."

Way also denied Sky approached New Zealand Cricket to check if any member of the commentary team should be taken off duties today in Dunedin. NZC chief executive David White has confirmed he knows the names of the former players being investigated by the ICC.

"I'm not aware of that," she said. 
Sky was criticised last summer after its commentary panel did not acknowledge the captaincy fallout surrounding Ross Taylor and Brendon McCullum during match calling.

"There's been topical news stories before and we haven't addressed them," Way said. "It's just not appropriate. Our job is to bring an entertaining game to cricket fans."

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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