England and Australia skippers emphatically deny involvement in match fixing

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Both Joe Root and Tim Paine have emphatically declared that no England or Australia players have had any involvement in the alleged match-fixing documented by news agency Al Jazeera.

The programme ‘Cricket’s Match-Fixers’ aired on Al Jazeera’s network on Sunday and alleged that England’s Test in Chennai against India in 2016 and Australia’s Test in Ranchi in 2017 against the same opponent were fixed in some way.

Neither Paine nor Root were leading their respective teams at the time and while the latter was part of the squad the former had yet to be recalled to the Test team however the Australia wicketkeeper was unequivocal in his view that none of his team were involved.

“As far as I’m concerned our players have got nothing to worry about,” said Paine.

“I’m really confident none of our players are involved.”

Root meanwhile slammed the allegations as ridiculous after being briefed on the situation by the ECB.

“All the players have been briefed by the ECB (England and Wales Cricket Board), and been told there’s absolutely nothing to worry about,” Root said.

“I’ve just been told to strongly deny the accusations, because it sounds quite ridiculous really.

“As a group of players we’ve got to focus on (the second Test) next week, making sure we prepare well, and let the people in charge look after this – because I’m sure it’s nothing.”

The ICC’s anti-corruption unit are hoping that Al Jazeera will share evidence with them that they had withheld ahead of the programme airing.

Alex Marshall, the ICC’s anti-corruption unit general manager, said: “We have been in ongoing dialogue with the broadcaster which has refused our continual requests to cooperate and share information which has hampered our investigation to date.

“The content of the programme is of course useful to the investigation, but I would now urge the production team to provide us with all un-edited and unseen evidence they are in possession of, to enable us to expedite a thorough investigation.”

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