Australia captain Michael Clarke and pace bowler Ryan Harris have both announced that corruption and match-fixing is something they “take personally” since it “damages the credibility of the sport”.
Harris, who is currently recovering from knee surgery, was pleased that Australia had returned to the top of the Test team rankings, but admitted that it was “unfortunate” to be talking about corruption and match-fixing.
“I’ve been out there and done my best, my teammates have, it’s just a very unfortunate thing that we’re talking about corruption,” Harris said. “Corruption in any sport I think is wrong and it damages the credibility of the sport. That’s something that as players we take personally, because every time we go out as an Australian cricket team, and I know a lot of other teams do as well, they go out to win.”
Clarke echoed his team-mate’s comments and added that he was confident that none of the Australian players were involved in match-fixing in any way whatsoever.
“I’m extremely confident about the players that I’ve played with,” Clarke said. “For this Australian team they all know very clearly that there is no room for corruption in our team. A big part of our job is to uphold the integrity of our sport and I think we do that well.
“Everybody involved in the game is disappointed that things like this happen but I want to pay credit to the ICC and Cricket Australia for the work they put in to try and stop this [and to] stamp it out of our game. Players have a big role to play as well, making sure that if you are approached or if something does come up, to go and speak to your captain, your team manager, the people at Cricket Australia.
“I don’t think we should be tarring all the players with the same brush as well. What we’ve seen of late it’s a minority that we’re dealing with in these type of issues. I’d be disappointed if the supporters and the fans of cricket think that this is happening a lot more than it is. I am very proud of what this current team has done and achieved and I think we are educated well on what is right and wrong.”
Clarke also noted that players get educated about the repercussions of match-fixing at a very young age in order to deter them from getting involved in the illegal trade and ruining their careers.
“What was I, 21, when I played my first ODI for Australia? And I think it probably started then in regards to international cricket,” Clarke said. “But these days you get educated from a very young age. Once you come into the first-class system, even on a rookie contract, so for some guys it starts at 16 years of age. I think the educational process that Australian cricketers go through is extremely thorough – we know the differences between right and wrong and what is accepted and what isn’t.”
Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
Meanwhile, Harris conceded that it was getting tougher to find out about match-fixing in the sport since bookies and players are taking extra precautions to cover their tracks.
“It’s a tough question…you don’t know,” Harris said. “For me I’ve played to win and it’s not until afterwards you find out that things have gone wrong or things are under suspicion. At the time I don’t think of it, no one thinks of it.”