13 Mar 2012

'Naive' to suggest NZers not involved in match-fixing

8:15 am on 13 March 2012

A former New Zealand test cricketer says it would be naive to suggest no New Zealand cricket players have been involved in match-fixing.

The International Cricket Council is investigating fresh allegations of match-fixing, including the involvement of at least two New Zealanders.

An Indian bookmaker told an undercover reporter from the British newspaper the Sunday Times that he had connections with New Zealanders and named two players he "worked" with in 2010.

Iain O'Brien, a bowler who played for the Black Caps on and off for six years, says he has witnessed match-fixing in English county cricket and Australia's Big Bash Twenty/20 league.

"I've seen deliveries that don't quite add up, I've seen run-scoring rates that don't suit the style of batsman - yes, I've seen things that are strange."

Mr O'Brien says he's fairly confident it's not happening in New Zealand's domestic competitions - but it is entirely possible New Zealand players have been involved elsewhere.

He says he himself was never approached to fix a game and would not have done it if asked.

New Zealand Cricket has dismissed the accusations, calling them irresponsible, damaging and untrue; and the International Cricket Council says the Sunday Times's claim it is investigating last year's World Cup semi-final between India and Pakistan is baseless and misleading.