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Page last updated at 14:14 GMT, Wednesday, 19 August 2009 15:14 UK

Ashes bookmaker allegation probed

Australia skipper Ricky Ponting and England captain Andrew Strauss
The Ashes series is tied as the teams go into the final Test

Cricket chiefs have praised Australian team management for alerting them to an approach to a player by a man suspected of ties to illegal bookmaking.

After investigation, the International Cricket Council revealed "there was no evidence of any illegal activity".

An Australian player was approached after last month's second Test.

"The ICC would like to place on record its praise for the player approached and the Australia team management," said an ICC statement.

The ICC said it was investigating after receiving a report from Australian team management, relating to the approach made after the match at Lord's.

The unidentified Australian player immediately alerted senior team officials, who notified the ICC's anti-corruption and security unit (ACSU).

The ICC statement continued: "Approaches to players do happen and it would be naive to assume otherwise; if they did not then there would be no need for the continuing existence of the ACSU.

I've never heard of any England player being approached

England skipper Andrew Strauss

"However, the ICC is confident that all approaches are being reported, it is proud of systems and education processes in place which have created a widespread culture of integrity among the world's top players and it is pleased those players have confidence in the ACSU to report such matters.

"Incidents such as the one reported in the media illustrate the need for constant and ongoing vigilance on the part of players, officials and administrators and there is no scope for complacency.

"However, thanks to the ACSU, cricket is regarded by other sports as a world leader in the area of anti-corruption and the ICC wants it to stay that way.

"There is no indication that any matches in the current Ashes series or the ICC World Twenty20 2009 have been affected by corruption in any way and the ICC is confident the issue is under control."

England skipper Andrew Strauss expressed his surprise the issue of betting had again hit the headlines.

"The anti-corruption unit has done a great job, they seem to have been on top of things for the last five or six years or so, so it is a bit of a surprise that it's reared its head again," he said.

"It sounds like the player concerned acted in exactly the right manner, and that'll make it harder for the bookmakers to get involved.

"Certainly from our point of view I've never heard of any England player being approached."

Australia captain Ricky Ponting refused to be drawn into discussing the matter, saying it was now for the relevant authorities to deal with, and instead turned his focus to the decisive fifth Ashes Test at the Brit Oval, which starts on Thursday.

"As players and as a team we will do everything by the letter of the law and it has been reported to the ICC," said Ponting.

"It's now under ICC investigation, and we have other things to worry about."



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