Cricket: NZ Cricket welcomes match-fixing investigation, says board member Martin Snedden

Doug Bracewell starred with the ball in the 2011 win over Australia.
Doug Bracewell starred with the ball in the 2011 win over Australia. Photo credit: Getty

Former NZ Cricket CEO Martin Snedden insists the organisation welcomes any investigation as a result of Al Jazeera's most recent expose of match-fixing, on the basis that all evidence is also made available to them.

Last week, the media organisation released a second series of allegations relating to spot-fixing in 15 test matches – one of which is the Blackcaps' win over Australia in Hobart in 2011.

Snedden – now a board member at NZC – said they're completely open to scrutiny, but Al Jazeera must first come forth with the information they have at hand.

"The interest we've got at this end is actually finding out the information they have and at the moment, that hasn't been provided," Snedden told Brendan Telfer on RadioLIVE's Saturday Sport.

"I don't think it's fair to say that we've dismissed anything, we've simply said 'can we have the information?' and then have a chance to take a look at it."

The journalist behind the investigation, David Harrison, claimed the broadcaster had handed over its findings to Interpol, bypassing the International Cricket Council.

"There's no downside to them receiving the info because we want a clean game. It's a matter of having an opportunity to look at it."

Although sceptical of with exactly who the findings had been shared, Snedden said there was no reason why others couldn't be privy to the information.

"They can turn it over to a number of parties, they don’t have to choose just one.

"If they think there's stuff there that's relevant to NZ then there's nothing wrong with providing it to Interpol, ICC and NZC."

"I'm not sure that they have provided it to cricket authorities and we wouldn’t have any clue if they’ve provided it to Interpol.

"Frankly, I hope that they have and I hope that there is an opportunity for this info to be properly looked at and investigated."

While Snedden believes the ICC's anti-corruption unit is doing the best it can, the complexities of the current international cricketing landscape mean match-fixing will never be completely eradicated.

It's not simply international cricket that's a concern. Snedden pointed to the proliferation of private T20 cricket competitions as a prime breeding ground for illegal bookies.

"It's just too fragmented, diverse and complicated for an organisation like the anti-corruption unit at ICC to ever get completely on top of it.

"There's a lot of resource that goes into that anti-corruption unit but the cricket world is so large and expanding so quickly that staying on top of this is not easy.

"I don't think it will go away."

Snedden says it's vital that players are educated as much as possible about the realities of the global game to empower them to make smart decisions.

"NZC and the NZC players association does a lot to try and help our players understand the environments that they're playing in, including when they're outside our jurisdiction and playing in these T20 leagues around the world.

"We help them recognise how the type of situation can escalate from what seems to be a pretty minor initial contact into something where players can get trapped."

Former Blackcaps batsman Mark Richardson added that he wouldn't let the accusations impact his enjoyment of the game, and that it's time Al Jazeera produced some results from their latest undercover sting.

"They've had a few guys now at trying to nail England and Australia and nothing's really come from it," Richardson told RadioLIVE.

"Their accusation's been quite startling and our ears have pricked up, but they’ve got to start actually fronting with some prosecutions now or they're just going to be the media outlet that cried wolf.

"I think it's up to the authorities to try to minimise it as much as they can, set some examples, but I think it's just always going to be there.  But I'm not going to let it affect me, what I see, or how much I believe what I see."