‘Unfair to speculate on fixing’ – Richardson
Hong Kong will ask for clarity from the ICC after David Richardson, the chief executive, indicated they were the team under investigation by the ACU.
On Sunday, Ronnie Flanagan, the head of the ACU, revealed recent attempts to “manipulate” events in forthcoming matches had been thwarted but did not name the team involved. Richardson confirmed it related to a recently suspended player, and the only one internationally has been the Hong Kong batsman Irfan Ahmed who was sanctioned for failing to report an approach in January.
“He said one of the teams was under investigation. I think we need to take that in perspective. We shouldn’t speculate that it involves any match-fixing or spot-fixing with any particular players or particular teams,” Richardson said in Delhi ahead of the start of the World T20. “In recent times you would have read in the media that a particular player was suspended from his country and the investigations relate to that same team.”
Hong Kong are in action on the opening day of the World T20 when they face Zimbabwe in the qualifying round in Nagpur.
When asked whether they saw Richardson’s comments as a direct reference to the Ahmed case, Tim Cutler, the Hong Kong Cricket CEO, told ESPNcricinfo. “Any probe would be directly related to Irfan Ahmed. I’m unable to make any further statement as it is still ongoing.”
A spokesman later said they would be seeking clarification over the comments. “We hope to get some clarity in the coming days. We don’t want this distracting our team, we don’t want this affecting our chances and we are here to perform strongly.
“We will certainly be as open as we possibly can be. We will be pushing for a quick resolution on this matter. This is not at all what we want to be associated with.”
Richardson, meanwhile, believes that Full Member nations are now well protected from corruption risks and the focus needs to be on the Associate nations and the women’s game, with both starting to gain increased television exposure.
“We are now finding that the corruptors are now focused on associate members, women’s teams. So we got to make sure the players from all the teams are very well educated, understand their responsibilities and would not get involved,” he said. “Unfortunately, this is the world we are living. There are corrupt people all over the world, trying their best to get hold of players.”
With inputs from Karthik Krishnaswamy in Nagpur
Andrew McGlashan is a deputy editor at ESPNcricinfo
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Source: ESPN Crickinfo