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Brendon McCullum has no regrets about match-fixing testimony

Canberra Times logo Canberra Times 22/05/2014 Chloe Saltau
New Zealand's Brendon McCullum. © Reuters New Zealand's Brendon McCullum.

Brendon McCullum is a remarkable cricketer – a Test triple century-maker, a Twenty20 trailblazer, captain of his country. Now he is leading the way by vowing to continue the fight against corruption, and encouraging his players to do the same, despite seeing his testimony to the International Cricket Council splashed across a British newspaper.

The New Zealand captain returned to Christchurch from the Indian Premier League on Thursday for the birth of his third child, and held a news conference following the leaking of statements in which he said he had rejected offers of up to $180,000 to underperform in matches.

The ICC has reacted by serving an injunction against The Daily Mail in an effort to prevent further details of the ICC’s investigation being published.
McCullum said he still had faith in the ICC’s anti-corruption detectives and without hesitation stood by his testimony while expressing disappointment that it was made public. There is concern among high-ranking cricket officials that the leak could deter cricketers from sharing information with the anti-corruption body in future.

‘‘I’m obviously disappointed about that but there’s nothing I can do about it,’’ McCullum said. ‘‘I can’t go into the specifics of what’s going into the investigation or my involvement in it ... but I will continue to fulfil my role in the investigation. I guess from my point of view, the dealings I’ve had with the group that I’ve dealt with, I have confidence. How the leak happened, I’m not sure, but I have confidence in them.’’

The ICC and Cricket New Zealand have emphasised that McCullum did exactly what he should have done in reporting approaches from a cricketer known as ‘‘PlayerX’’.

His testimony, every bit as explosive as his 158 to light up the inaugural IPL in 2008, is said to have included details of an approach by a ‘‘hero’’ of his during that IPL season and then in Worcester during New Zealand’s tour of England by the same player later that year.

McCullum said he had been heartened by the support since the information was leaked.
‘‘There’s still a long way to go,’’ he said. ‘‘Obviously it had been a number of years and the next little while will probably be a bit tough but my role in the investigation is ongoing. The sport of cricket is a great sport which we’re all very privileged to be involved in. Obviously there are a couple of circumstances that have tainted the game but the majority of people uphold the traditions of the game.’’

Asked what advice he would give any other New Zealand cricketers who came to him to report a match-fixing approach, he said: ‘‘There was no hesitancy in my faith in the ICC as such. If one of the players found themselves in the same situation, then I would certainly encourage them to go the same route I chose.’’ 

On Wednesday, Michael Clarke implored fans not to be cynical about the game because of a tainted minority, and said he had never doubted any Australian cricketer.

with AAP

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