NZ cricket match-fixing probe: Cheating spectre casts a long shadow

By Dylan Cleaver

It is often assumed the spectre of spot- and match-fixing is confined to the Indian subcontinent, but there is plenty of evidence to the contrary.

In March last year, Britain's Sunday Times published a story about match-fixing and said two New Zealanders, whose names the paper claimed to know but chose not to print, were offered to bookmakers as players who could help manipulate games.

New Zealand Cricket said the allegations were not credible.

"We are not interested in unsubstantiated rumour or speculation," said NZC chief executive David White at the time. "The integrity and reputation of the game is paramount and NZC has absolute confidence that our players share these ideals."

Recent cricket is littered with tales of money changing hands between bookmakers and players.

Australian stars Shane Warne and Mark Waugh were found to have taken money from bookmakers in exchange for "harmless" information, and the most infamous case involved South Africa's pious captain Hansie Cronje, who was found to have also dragged teammates Herschelle Gibbs and Henry Williams into the scam.

In England, promising quick bowler Mervyn Westfield was jailed last year after agreeing to concede a set number of runs off his overs during a county limited-overs competition.

Pakistan captain Salman Butt and bowlers Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Amir were caught spot-fixing during a test at Lord's and served jail sentences in the United Kingdom.

All are serving lengthy suspensions from the sport.

New Zealanders have largely stayed clear of trouble.

Former all-rounder Chris Cairns won a defamation case against Lalit Modi after the former boss of the Indian Premier League made a provocative tweet when the big-hitter failed to gain an IPL contract.

- NZ Herald

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