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Amnesty for players who report match-fixing

October 20, 2014

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — Cricket Australia said Monday it will provide an amnesty period for players who report potential corruption-related or past match-fixing cases ahead of the 2015 World Cup it will co-host with New Zealand.

Cricketers had faced bans of up to five years if they were found to have failed to report information relating to a breach of the Cricket Australia’s anti-corruption code.

But in the Monday announcement, players were told they will be spared from penalty if they come forward with evidence from any time during their careers by the end of November.

Anti-corruption investigators working with World Cup organizers and the International Cricket Council last year signed a memorandum of understanding with the Australian Federal Police to assist them in fighting corruption at the Feb. 14-March 29 tournament.

Cricket Australia’s integrity manager Iain Roy said that while there were no suggestions that any Australian players, officials or administrators were involved in corrupt or illegal activity, the “threat of unlawful behavior and other misconduct impacting the integrity of the game is very real and the sport has to be vigilant in its approach to managing it.”

“We think this is a responsible approach to protecting the game under our jurisdiction,” Roy said in a statement on the Cricket Australia website. “We hope that granting a short amnesty period in relation to any previous non-reporting of relevant facts will encourage anyone with information to come forward.”

There have been nearly 20 cases of cricketers involved in match-fixing over the past decade, including some for “spot fixing” — for orchestrating the bowling of no balls, or for allowing a high number of runs to be scored in certain overs of a match.

Most recently, New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum said on the weekend he will testify against former teammate Chris Cairns in a perjury trial in London next year because he feels a duty “to protect the game.” McCullum will be among as many as 12 leading cricketers who may be called to give evidence when the trial starts next October.

Cairns won 90,000 pounds (then $140,000) in damages in 2012 after he sued Indian Premier League founder Lalit Modi over an accusation of match-fixing. Cairns was later charged with one count of perjury in the case.

Former Bangladesh captain Mohammad Ashraful was banned from cricket for eight years in June for match-fixing in the Bangladesh Premier League.

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