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Rediff.com  » Cricket » McMillan frustrated by 'idle speculation' over match-fixing

McMillan frustrated by 'idle speculation' over match-fixing

March 13, 2012 20:58 IST

This is not the first time that match-fixing rumours have done the rounds and former New Zealand cricketer Craig McMillan has told Indian bookmakers to "put up or shut up", following the recent allegations against Kiwi players.

Sunday Times, a British newspaper, carried out a sting operation of an Indian bookie, who claimed that English county games and international matches are being fixed.

The bookies also claimed that players from all the main cricketing nations, including New Zealand, are involved in match-fixing.

Craig McMillan"We've heard all this before and the rumour mill runs amok again," McMillan was quoted as saying in the stuff.co.nz.

"It is very easy to hide behind broad accusations but you need to have concrete evidence to deal with, not just idle speculation. I would be really disappointed if it was proved that any New Zealander was involved.

"We were reminded time and again about our obligations and I can't believe anyone would be that stupid to risk their career and integrity," he added.

McMillan said he has never been approached by anyone with a dodgy deal during his international career spanning from 1996-2007.

His former teammate, Scott Styris, said it came as "a bit of a surprise" that match-fixing allegations had been made against New Zealand cricketers.

"It's all come out of the blue for me," he said.

However, another former New Zealand cricketer Iain O'Brien has claimed that he had seen "dodgy" cricket happenings in India, England and Australia.

O'Brien watched televised Twenty20 matches during Australia's recent Big Bash and said "there was stuff that didn't look quite right". He also said that he had witnessed some eyebrow-raising moments in English county cricket too.

"I've seen some stuff that I don't necessarily agree with, a bit unexplainable. Everywhere," said O'Brien.

"I've seen plenty in India, and I've seen it with my own eyes a couple of times in games that I've commentated on in the UK, stuff that just doesn't make sense, with guys with possible history in it.

"But that's all I can say. It's all hearsay, and that's the most dangerous," he added.

The 22-Test New Zealand seamer, however, said he himself had never been approached by bookmakers.

Asked whether any other New Zealanders had, he said: "I don't know of anyone but I'm sure there has been. There has to be. You're naive to think they haven't been.

"I have a clear conscience. What I can say is, if anyone is involved I hope they're sweating at the moment. I hope they get caught, whoever it is. And if there are New Zealanders involved, I hope they get taken down."

The biggest fixing scandal of international cricket was exposed by a sting operation by now-defunct British tabloid, News Of The World, which led to the punishment of Pakistani players -- Salman Butt, Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Aamer.

O'Brien said it might take a similar effort to bring the perpetrators to book.

"If it has to take a newspaper sting to track down cheats and fixers then sweet, I don't care: let's get rid of them.

"But how do they come up with enough proof? You need times, dates and events until you can even get close to proving it," he said.

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