Thatscricket - News - Big fix: 'No Aussie linked to sex scam'
Published: Monday, January 22, 2001, 23:00 [IST]
Copyright AFP 2000
Sydney: No Australian cricketer has been implicated in allegations that prostitutes were used as rewards to lure top players into match-fixing, cricket officials said on Monday.Britain's 'Observer' newspaper reported on Sunday that former Pakistani Test batsman Qasim Omar had given the International Cricket Council (ICC) anti-corruption unit a list of names of 23 mostly Australian call-girls and the illegal bookmakers who had employed them.An Australian bookmaker was claimed to have supplied the players through two Sydney madams, starting in the mid-1980s, and a nationwide network of prostitutes was established.The girls were said to include a doctor, a nurse and a glamorous television presenter.The anti-corruption unit, headed by former top English policeman Sir Paul Condon, reportedly wants to interview the bookies and call-girls when it visits Australia early next month.However, Australian Cricket Board chief executive Malcolm Speed said the allegations were not new and did not involve any Australians."We've checked this with the ICC anti-corruption unit over the weekend when the story broke in London," Speed said."They have the file from Omar and there are no Australian players or officials against whom these allegations are made." He said the Board did not know who the players were or where they came from.The Observer quoted Qasim as saying that prominent players had sex with the call-girls as part of crooked deals that had destroyed cricket's honourable image.An Australian bookie was said to have paid up to 3,600 pounds sterling for players to throw their wickets away and also rewarded them with other items such as jewellery and alcohol.Qasim, who played 28 Tests for Pakistan in the 1980s, told the paper the women, who were all Australian apart from one Pakistani and a Chinese, were used to lure some of the game's best-known players into throwing games or to reward them for under-performing.The deals were struck in hotels and restaurants in Sydney and Melbourne.Qasim, who was said to have provided the unit with the addresses and telephone numbers of all the women, had also made allegations about a similar sex scandal in New Zealand.Condon and his team will brief the ICC's quarterly meeting in Melbourne on February 9 and 10 about the progress of inquiries into match-fixing.The six-man unit started its inquiries last September and has a three-year brief to uncover corruption in the sport.