Bangalore, March 01: The ghost of fixing is back again to haunt cricket and this time it is the Australian ODI opening pair of Shane Watson and Brad Haddin who are under the scanner. There are reports that International Cricket Council (ICC) has launched a probe into the unusually slow scoring rate of the duo against Zimbabwe.
PTI had reported that the ICC has scrutinised the World Cup match between defending champions Australia and minnow Zimbabwe after the Australian openers Shane Watson and Brad Haddin batted unusually slowly in the first 10 overs when the fielding restrictions are on.
The duo just scored 28 runs in 11 overs.
Australian newspaper Sydney Morning Herald, has quoted the Australian team-management as dismissing the allegations of spot-fixing. The daily quoted Australian team manager Steve Bernard as saying, "I've just heard the story a moment ago and I'm not sure how to respond, except to say it would make a cat laugh. It's the most ludicrous thing I've ever heard in my life that a side can be 0-5 after two overs and that that's suspicious."
He is also quoted as saying, "At the start of any campaign, on a fresh track that the guys weren't used to, it took a bit of time [to adjust] but 260-odd was a pretty good score...I'm not sure if it's a make-up story by someone being a bit adventurous or a bit malicious . . . but I don't pay it any credence."
PTI had cited an anonymous source.
Earlier this year, three Pakistani cricketers, Salman Butt, Mohammed Asif and Mohammed Amir were handed out severe punishments for being found guilty of spot-fixing.