It looks like the cricketing fraternity will have to endure a painful and longer stay before getting into the details on Al Jazeera’s sting operation as the broadcasting giant has stated that a meeting with the International Cricket Council (ICC) at this stage would be premature.
Al Jazeera rocked the cricketing world by releasing bits and parts of the sting operation, showing the different forms of corruption in the game.
In the investigative documentary, titled as the “Cricket’s match-fixers,” the news outlet showed former players and ground-staff promising undercover reporters of rigging matches.
Former Pakistan international, Hasan Raza was one of those individuals caught on the camera. Alongside Robin Morris, Raza could be seen explaining few other men about facilitating spot-fixing in Twenty20 tournaments.
Morris then explained how they are planning to set up a corrupt tournament in Dubai. He said no A-grade players will play but he can bring in B, C, and D grade players.
Another individual also claimed the outcome of England’s Test against Sri Lanka in Galle, starting in November, can be influenced. It alleged the pitch can be doctored, so that, a draw is impossible.
Al Jazeera also revealed the name of two Sri Lankan involved – Tharindu Mendis (former first-class player) and Tharanga Indika (Assistant manager of Galle cricket stadium). The duo promised to prepare the pitch according to the needs of an undercover journalist posing as a businessman.
During the conversation, Indika also claimed to have doctored the Test pitches in the recent past. He claimed he had altered the surface for India and Australian Test in 2017 and 2016.
However, their cause is not being helped by Al Jazeera. The outlet is in no mood to share details with ICC at the moment which is making it tougher for the governing body to proceed with an investigation.
A spokesperson from Al Jazeera confirmed the outlet is not looking to share any sort of details. He cited the reason of legal proceedings.
At the same time, the spokesperson insisted the the current resistance is not an indication that AL Jazeera would not cooperate in due course.
“With regard to a potential meeting with the ICC, the broadcaster had to take into account ongoing legal considerations. Including potential criminal investigations into the spot-fixing allegations in Sri Lanka and India. That being the case, a meeting with the ICC would be premature at this stage,” the spokesman said.
“It should also be borne in mind that in certain respects the broadcast puts the ICC itself under the spotlight. Although we are confident that this will not ultimately be a bar to cooperation in due course,” added the spokesman.
The Doha-based network’s statement was in response to the one made by ICC chief executive Dave Richardson on June 1.
Richardson had sought all evidence to enable the International Cricket Council to “conduct a full, thorough and fair investigation”.
“I ask Al Jazeera to release to us all the material they have relating to corruption in cricket. We will conduct a full, thorough and fair investigation. And will ensure no stone is left unturned as we examine all allegations of corruption made in the programme. To do so, we need to see all the evidence they state they possess,” he added.
“I am encouraged by their public commitment to cooperate and now ask that they do so, in releasing all relevant material. We understand and fully respect the need to protect journalistic sources and our ACU team have worked with other media companies on that basis. However, to prove or disprove these allegations, we need to see the evidence referred to in the programme,” Richardson said.