The International Cricket Council has launched an investigation into spot fixing allegations targetting the third Ashes Test between Australia and England in Perth, starting today.

The Sun newspaper has published purported evidence of bookmakers offering to sell details of rigged periods of play for betting purposes.

Alex Marshall, the ICC's head of anti-corruption, said the council had received all of the material in The Sun's investigation.

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Cricket Australia will cooperate with ICC to investigate claims

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"We take the allegations extremely seriously and they will be investigated by the ICC Anti-Corruption Unit working with anti-corruption colleagues from Member countries," said Marshall.

"From my initial assessment of the material, there is no evidence, either from The Sun or via our own intelligence, to suggest the current Test Match has been corrupted. At this stage of the investigation, there is no indication that any players in this Test have been in contact with the alleged fixers.

"The allegations are wide ranging and relate to various forms cricket in several countries, including T20 tournaments. We will look closely at all the information as part of our investigation," said Marshall.

During a video secretly recorded by The Sun, information on fixes are heard to be worth around $A200,000.

"Before match, I will tell you this over, this runs and then you have to put all the bets on that over," a man, who the newspaper claims is a bookmaker, says in purportedly undercover video footage.

There is also mention of fixing "four to five" Big Bash League matches.

One of the bookies alleged they were working with a fixer within Australian cricket known as The Silent Man and claimed a fix attempt was due during the middle of the Ashes series.

According to the report, one bookie claimed corrupt players would "signal" to spotters in the crowd when the fix was on.

'Allegations are of serious concern'

"The allegations raised by media outlets are of serious concern. Cricket Australia takes a zero-tolerance approach against anybody trying to bring the game into disrepute," Cricket Australia said in a statement.

"Cricket Australia will co-operate fully with any ICC Anti-Corruption Unit (ACU) investigation.

"Australian cricket has a long-standing, proactive approach to sports integrity management.

"CA works closely with the ICC ACU on all international fixtures played in Australia.

"Players are able to report any suspicions they have on a confidential basis and in the past there has been a strong Australian player culture to do so."

The ICC appointed Alex Marshall, who served in the UK police for 37 years, earlier this year as the head of their ACU.

Three international captains have reported illicit approaches in the past two months.

As opposed to the most recent high-profile news report of fixing in cricket, the 2010 no-ball sting involving several Pakistan players, there are no names, games or specific details in the report or footage posted by The Sun.

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The ICC banned three players - Salman Butt, Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Amir - following a News of the World investigation that detailed how Asif and Amir would bowl no-balls at certain points of a Test.


The Sun has posted footage in which two men also discuss how they claim to distort elements of Twenty20 cricket games in Australia and India.

"You want to see something magic in the Big Bash? Big Bash we can do, winning and loss, some matches - some news, we got some confirmed news," one man says in the clip, claiming he has connections with Australia, South Africa and Pakistan players.

"In Big Bash we will get four to five matches confirmed news."

The individual claims he can arrange games to follow "scripts" that cover run- rate and wickets - and that corrupt players would signal the fix is on by using subtle gestures, such as changing their batting gloves or aborting their bowling run-up, and that individuals at the ground would relay this information to bookmakers.

During the video information on fixes are heard to be worth around $A200,000.

"We take all allegations of corruption seriously and welcome The Sun's offer to share this information," the ICC is quoted as saying.