A general view of the International Cricket Council (ICC)'s headquarters in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (Image: Reuters/Nikhil Monteiro)
The International Cricket Council (ICC) has rejected the allegations of match-fixing, as levelled through a documentary aired by news channel Al Jazeera three years ago, the global cricket body said in a statement issued on May 17.
Charges under the ICC anti-corruption code cannot be levied on the five suspects who featured in the documentary "due to insufficient credible and reliable evidence", it said.
The Cricket's Match Fixers programme was broadcast by Al Jazeera on May 27, 2018. The programme alleged that two matches were fixed - India v England in Chennai in 2016 and India v Australia in Ranchi in 2017.
"To assess whether the passages of play highlighted in the programme were unusual in any way, the ICC engaged four independent betting and cricketing specialists to analyse the claims," the Council said.
"All four concluded that the passages of play identified in the programme as being allegedly fixed were entirely predictable, and therefore implausible as a fix," it added.
All five suspects who featured in the programme have been interviewed by the ICC Integrity Unit and there is "insufficient evidence based on the normal thresholds" to lay any charges, the statement further said.
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Alex Marshall, ICC General Manager – Integrity, said the cricket body welcomes the reporting of alleged corruption activity in the game as there is no place for such malpractice in the sport. "But we also need to be satisfied there is sufficient evidence to sustain charges against participants," he added.
"In the case of the claims aired in this programme, there are fundamental weaknesses in each of the areas we have investigated that make the claims unlikely and lacking in credibility, a viewpoint that has been corroborated by four independent experts," he said.
Marshall, however, noted that the case could be re-examined "if any new substantial evidence comes to light".
"But at present I am comfortable with the conclusion of the investigation and the thoroughness with which it was undertaken," top ICC official added.