Ashes 2017: ICC launches investigation into Test Match fixing claims

Tom Powell
The allegations were made just before the start of play in Perth: PA

The International Cricket Council (ICC) has launched an investigation into allegations the third Ashes Test has been "corrupted" by spot-fixers.

The Sun claimed that two Indian bookmakers had asked undercover reporters for up to £140,000 to fix passages of play, such as the number of runs scored in a given over.

But Alex Marshall, general manager of the ICC Anti-Corruption Unit, said they had received materials relating to the investigation and found no indication any players had been in contact with the alleged fixers.

He added: "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 of cricket in several countries, including T20 tournaments. We will look closely at all the information as part of our investigation."

Cricket Australia had previously said the allegations were "of serious concern" and that it would co-operate fully with any ICC Anti-Corruption Unit investigation.

A spokesman said: "Australian cricket has a long-standing, proactive approach to sports integrity management and Cricket Australia has a dedicated Anti-Corruption and Security Unit (ACSU) to prevent corruption within Australian domestic competitions, including the BBL.

"In addition to this, all players participating in CA-sanctioned competitions, including the BBL, are required to complete an anti-corruption education session before they can compete.

"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 England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) said it was aware of the allegations and that "there is no suggestion that any of the England team is involved in any way".

A spokesman added: "ECB work closely with the ICC and their Anti-Corruption unit to protect the integrity of the international game."

England captain Joe Root told BBC Test Match Special: "It's very sad that this has been written about.

"We've got to focus on this Test match and do everything we can to win it."

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