Ashes Bookie Probe

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A SUSPECTED illegal bookmaker reportedly approached an Australian player after the second Test in Lord's, a matter which is now under investigation by the ICC.

The unnamed player was sought out by the alleged bookie in the bar of the team's London hotel, the Royal Kensington Garden, following Australia's Ashes defeat at Lord's in July, Cricinfo reported.

Australia's team manager Steve Bernard filed a report with the ICC's Anti-Corruption and Security Unit.

In July, the ICC held meetings to discuss the potential threat bookmakers posed on the Twenty20 format of the game, and it's believed some illegal bookies approached players during this years T20 World Cup.

West Indian player Marlon Samuels was banned for two years in 2007 for supplying information to an illegal bookmaker. There is no suggestion the Australian player in this case did anything wrong, and seems to have taken the correct action in reporting the incident immediately.

The emergence of high-profile Twenty20 tournaments the IPL and ICL have fuelled speculation the illegal bookmakers have returned to glean information from cricketers as they did in the 1980s and 90s when a string of notorious cases gained publicity.

The late South African captain Hansie Cronje was among a list of high-profile players found guilty of match-fixing, but no international has been reported since Samuels.

Source:  The Age

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