22 May 2014

NZ skipper speaks out on match-fixing

9:30 pm on 22 May 2014

Black Caps captain Brendon McCullum is disappointed his match-fixing testimony was leaked to the media, but says he has no regrets about providing the information to the International Cricket Council.

Brendon McCullum.

Brendon McCullum. Photo: RNZ / Patrick Phelps

McCullum spoke publicly for the first time in Christchurch on Thursday since his and former Black Cap Lou Vincent's testimonies were leaked last week.

In his testimony McCullum detailed an approach from a player he described as one of his heroes to fix a game in 2008. On Thursday, he would not say who that player was and, though it has been a stressful time, he said he knows he did the right thing.

McCullum, who has returned from playing in India for the birth of his third child, said he wouldn't hesitate to talk to the ICC Anti-Corruption investigators again and was quick to encourage other players to report any match-fixing as soon as possible.

The 32-year-old said he was pleased ICC chief executive David Richardson has endorsed his actions, as it takes courage for players to report a match-fixing approach and its vital players who do so feel supported.

He said he has complete confidence in the ICC's processes and, while he concedes the game has been tainted by the fixing accusations, believed most players in the sport aren't corrupt.

McCullum said he has received support from around the world and the next few weeks could be tough, but his role in the investigation would continue.

New Zealand Cricket chief executive David White said the ICC is more than comfortable with McCullum's conduct throughout the investigation and subsequent media storm.

NZC coach Mike Hesson believes everything is in place for his players to feel comfortbale with any match-fixing approaches.

Commenting on the leaking of anti-corruption testimonies, Hesson says he didn't lose any sleep as there are no current Black Caps or their games under investigation.

Hesson said there is not much more they can do in terms of making their environment as clean as possible in the fight against corruption in sport. However, he concedes that fans have every right to be angry.

The Black Caps head to the West Indies at the weekend and have had a security and anti-corruption person with them for a number of years.

Prime Minister John Key said on Thursday the ICC's investigation shouldn't have a dramatic impact on the 2015 World Cup. New Zealand and Australia are jointly hosting the tournament.

Mr Key said it shouldn't put off cricket supporters because the investigation reflects badly on individual players - not the sport itself - but it would be good if it was cleared up beforehand.

Steps to stop further publication

The ICC has served an injunction against the British newspaper the Daily Mail to try to prevent further leaks into its anti-corruption investigation becoming public.

The leaked testimony said Brendon McCullum was offered $200,000 to fix matches by a former international player in 2008.

ICC president Alan Isaac said only select members of cricket boards involved in fighting corruption would have been privy to the statement. He said it is determined to find out who leaked the testimony.

Mr Isaac said the ICC has taken steps to get an injunction or court order to stop British media making public any additional details of McCullum's statement.

ICC chief executive Dave Richardson said the leaks completely undermine any trust or confidence players may have in cricket's anti-corruption systems.

Mr Richardson said he has spoken to McCullum to personally apologise and said they want to emphasise the New Zealand captain is not under investigation.

Tuffey threatens legal action

Earlier, former Black Cap fast bowler Daryl Tuffey threatened to sue anyone who makes false accusations against him.

New Zealand cricketer Daryl Tuffey

New Zealand cricketer Daryl Tuffey Photo: AFP / file

Tuffey, along with Lou Vincent and Chris Cairns, is part of the inquiry into match-fixing.

On Wednesday night, he broke his silence on the issue and issued a statement through his lawyer firmly denying any involvement in the match-fixing scandal.

He said there have been unsubstantiated attacks on his good name and he won't hesitate to take legal action against anyone publishing false information about him.

Chris Eaton, director of sport integrity with the International Centre for Sport Security and one of the authors of a two-year international study into corruption, said organised crime is estimated to launder more than $160 billion annually through sport betting, and cricket is one of the top two sports targeted by criminals.