Three former New Zealand cricketers at centre of match-fixing probe
Newspaper names Chris Cairns, Lou Vincent and Darryl Tuffey as ICC confirms investigation
Associated Press in Wellington
Former New Zealand all-rounder Chris Cairns is one of three players being investigated by the ICC over allegations of match-fixing, The New Zealand Herald newspaper reported on Thursday.
Bowler Daryl Tuffey and batsman Lou Vincent are the others.
Vincent at one stage held the post of Hong Kong batting coach.
Neither the International Cricket Council nor New Zealand Cricket confirmed the names but Cairns and Vincent later both confirmed that they were involved in the investigation and said they were co-operating with the ICC.
The Herald reported that members of the ICC’s anti-corruption and security unit have been in New Zealand over the past four months investigating the participation of New Zealanders in fixing “in more than one country”.
The newspaper said the findings of the investigation would likely result “in the biggest sports scandal in New Zealand’s history”.
In a statement, the ICC confirmed an investigation was under way.
“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.
“The ICC and all of its members maintain a zero-tolerance attitude toward corruption in the sport and the ACSU will continue to collabourate with relevant individuals in order to complete its investigation process.”
Earlier, the head of the New Zealand Cricket Players’ Association, Heath Mills, said he knew who the players were but couldn’t name them because “these matters will likely be the subject of a judicial process”.
“We’re not happy that other past players are coming under suspicion,” he said. “We are working with New Zealand Cricket to see what we can do about that.
“We are also conscious of the fact NZC and the ICC are bound by rules and regulations around confidentiality.”
NZC chief executive David White said his organisation was aware the ICC “is investigating some former New Zealand cricketers”.
He said only a small number of players were involved.
“It’s a difficult situation,” White said. “Unfortunately, we are not in a position to comment further and all inquiries have to be directed to the ICC.”
The Herald report said the ICC investigation was focused on “historic matches involving international stars”. It said the probe “has concentrated on cricket at a domestic or franchise level” and it was not known whether it would reveal any attempt to fix international matches.
The newspaper said none of the New Zealand players involved was still playing professionally.
The New Zealand government last week announced measures to combat drug-taking, match-fixing and the involvement of organised crime in sport, including the introduction of new laws which will make fixing a criminal offence. Those laws have yet to be enacted.
Former New Zealand test all-rounder Jacob Oram, who played for several season in the Indian Premier League, said he is surprised New Zealanders are under investigation.
“In a way it’s disappointing to think that if it does come out as correct that New Zealand is involved and potentially heavily involved in it ... that’s disappointing for New Zealand’s reputation around the world,” he told LiveSport Radio.