ECB finds no match-fix evidence

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The Independent Online

There is no evidence to support match-fixing allegations against past or present members of England's national cricket team, the England and Wales Cricket Board said Thursday.

The ECB's inquiry followed claims in a Sunday newspaper by former England all-rounder Chris Lewis that three England players had received money for fixing matches.

Gerard Elias, chairman of the ECB's disciplinary committee, said he investigated the matter and met with Scotland Yard police officers.

"As a result, I conclude that there is no evidence whatsoever to justify the bringing of disciplinary charges in relation to betting and/or match fixing against any member of the England international squad, past or present," he said in a statement.

However, Elias added that police are continuing to investigate "wider aspects of allegations of match fixing, including the possible involvement of third parties who may have attempted to 'recruit' players or ofatement continued: "The discipline committee of the board will remain vigilant to consider any evidence which may become available at any time in the future in relation to allegations of this nature, and the board will continue to provide whatever assistance it can to the police and the ICC in its efforts to root out any wrongdoer and eradicate the stain of corruption from the game of cricket."

Lewis appeared before an ECB disciplinary panel last week in the wake of an article in the News of the World in which he went public with his allegations. Lewis said he was only repeating allegations made by an Indian businessman last August.

The Leicestershire star said he was approached by an Indian sports promotor who told him he knew of three England players who had accepted money to influence the result of matches. The names of the three have not been made public.

The England inquiry follows the scandal centering on South African captain Hansie Cronje's admission that he received money from an Indian bookmaker. Cronje said he took the money for "forecasting" and denied fixing matches.