Melbourne: Australian cricketers Adam Gilchrist and Colin Miller as well as coach John Buchanan received anonymous phone calls seeking match information during the recent tour of India, it was revealed here on Tuesday. The unidentified caller rang during the third Test in Chennai, enquiring about pitch information, the state of the match and what they thought the likely outcome of the match might be, Australian Cricket Board chief executive Malcolm Speed said. The incident was immediately reported to Australian team manager Steve Bernard and passed on to Speed. The ACB boss said that, on the face of it, the calls were not illegal because no offers were made to the players. The ACB reported the incident to the International Cricket Council's anti-corruption unit and the Indian police for investigation. Gilchrist said his phone rang as he was preparing to leave his room to go to the team bus. "We get about 10 calls a day from Indian fans. This person was obviously of Indian descent. He said he was a very enthusiastic supporter and asked how I thought the game would go," the Australian vice-captain told Australian Associated Press. "I said that hopefully we would do well and then he asked questions about the wicket and whether it would turn and would that help Warney (Shane Warne) and Miller. "It didn't really set off any alarm bells then but then I asked who he was and he asked more questions, I said don't worry about it and hung up. "It was reported to the management very quickly and they got us to write a statement and explain exactly what happened. Then it became a non-issue and we could focus on the game." Speed said the Australian players were now well aware of the risk involved in inappropriate approaches. "We don't know whether this person was a gambler, a bookmaker, who this person was but I think the good news that came out of it was that it was reported and dealt with straight away," he said. Speed said Bernard had also established that no other player or team official had received anonymous calls seeking information about the match. The same caller rang Gilchrist, Miller and Buchanan "at about the same time". "The players had been alerted that if they received any calls from persons not known to them who enquired about matters such as this it's reported straight away," Speed said. "It's the first step of the players' defence against being compromised in a position like this." Speed said any similar incidents had to be reported and documented. He said the players were happy to follow the protocol because they had seen what happened to those who had not done so in the past. Meanwhile, Speed would not talk about his meeting on Wednesday with Buchanan, who has been the subject of speculation he would be dropped as a selector for this year's Ashes tour. "I'll be talking to John about a number of issues on Wednesday. It's not appropriate that I discuss them today," Speed said.
Copyright AFP 2001