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Adam Gilchrist says ‘no nation is immune’ to spot-fixing

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AUSTRALIAN cricket great Adam Gilchrist ‘refuses to believe’ Australian players could be involved in spot-fixing, but said there’s a chance they could be connected to the scandal.

Two unidentified Australian players were implicated this week in an Al Jazeera documentary that claimed to uncover corruption at the highest levels of world cricket.

The players were accused of being paid to bat slowly during a period of last year’s Test between Australia and India in Ranchi to ensure a draw result for betting purposes.

Gilchrist responded to the accusations on Back Page Live on Tuesday night, saying he believes Australian cricketers aren’t involved, although no possibility should be ruled out.

“No body, no nation, no team is immune to [spot-fixing] and there’s every chance it’s still going on around the cricketing world,” the former wicketkeeper-batsman said.

“So Australia, or England, or whoever they’re accusing - there’s a chance it could be going on, but if you’re that certain, then name them.”

Gilchrist said he thinks it’s unlikely players from Australia and England would be enticed into spot-fixing because of lucrative contracts to play for their nations.

He added: “I refuse to believe - and I’d be disappointed if I was proved otherwise - but England and Australian cricketers are getting paid so much.

“Unless these bookies have got a hook in these guys and they’ve got something over them from some other part in their life that they don’t want exposed, I can’t imagine why they would want to go and do it.”

The Fox Sports commentator said the accusations should be treated as speculation unless any credible evidence surfaces.

Cricket Australia chief executive James Sutherland made a similar call earlier in the week, saying no evidence links Australian players to corruption.

However, he encouraged Qatari news channel Al Jazeera to turn in an unedited version of the documentary to the International Cricket Council (ICC).

The ICC said it is taking the allegations of corruption seriously and they have launched an investigation.

“The ICC has now had the opportunity to view the documentary into corruption in cricket and as we have previously stated, we are taking the contents of the programme and the allegations it has made extremely seriously,” Alex Marshall, general manager of the ICC’s Anti-Corruption Unit, said in a statement on Sunday.

“A full investigation led by the ICC Anti-Corruption Unit, working with full co-operation from all member countries identified in the program, is now underway to examine each claim made.”

Australia captain Tim Paine said on Monday he’s ‘confident’ none of his teammates are involved.

He added: “As far as I’m concerned our players have got nothing to worry about.”

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