The Bankstown District Cricket club has rallied round former New Zealand test player Daryl Tuffey, dedicating the first grade side's latest win to their pace bowling spearhead as the ICC investigates match-fixing allegations he is linked to.
Tuffey withdrew from the club's premier line-up last weekend - two days after he was named alongside Chris Cairns and Lou Vincent in relation to an ICC investigation into alleged match fixing - but he was still in his teammates' thoughts as they secured a five-wicket victory over Northern District in the Sydney club competition.
"We had a very good win and they dedicated it to Daryl," said the club's past president Brian Freedman.
It had been hoped Tuffey would be available to play but he pulled out in order to remove a distraction from the team during the two-day match at Mark Taylor Oval.
Tuffey, who was shocked to find he had been included in the probe, issued a statement through his legal representation at the weekend saying he would co-operate with the investigation.
"Mr Tuffey does not believe he is the focus of this investigation. He intends to fully co-operate with the ICC and provide them with any relevant information in his possession,'' the statement said.
Tuffey's reaction follows Vincent's confirmation that he was talking to the ICC; Cairns has steadfastly denied any involvement and said to have his name linked with the scandal by overseas headlines was "sickening''.
Freedman told Fairfax Media that Tuffey had assured club officials he had no case to answer.
"Daryl is absolutely adamant he has nothing to worry about, nothing to answer in any way, shape or form," he said, adding there was no prospect of suspending Tuffey's involvement with the club.
"There is no reason why he shouldn't play, in absolute fairness it would be ridiculous to stand him down."
Freedman hoped the 35-year-old would be available to play against Manly this weekend, though the final decision rested with Tuffey.
The right arm quick, who played 26 tests and 94 ODIs for New Zealand between 2000-10, joined Bankstown last season on a part-time basis as he commuted between Auckland and Sydney for matches.
Tuffey subsequently moved permanently to Sydney with his wife and children and has been an integral member of the club.
"I found it to be a hell of a shock," said Freedman of the latest match-fixing issue to blight the sport.
"We've found Daryl to be an outstanding fella. He's extremely popular at the club."
Freedman said aside from leading the attack, Tuffey was a valuable mentor for the club's developing fast bowlers.
"One of the reasons we brought him to the club is we wanted to mentor the young quicks coming through."
On the field, Tuffey has been prominent so far by claiming 13 wickets at 18.53 and contributing two half centuries in five matches.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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