Match-fixing: Brendon McCullum hits out at 'casual' ICC

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London, June 7: Former New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum, who provided match-fixing evidence against his ex-teammate Chris Cairns, has claimed that the ICC's Anti Corruption Unit was "casual" in handling the matter and shook his faith in the world body.

Cairns was cleared of any involvement in match-fixing at the end of a nine-week trial in November, 2015. McCullum, during his 'MCC Spirit of Cricket' lecture yesterday (June 6), was scathing in his criticism of the manner in which the game's governing body handled issues of corruption.

A file picture of Brendon McCullum

"Cairns, my former hero, approached me to fix matches in 2008; once in Kolkata when I was playing in the IPL for the first time, and again during the New Zealand tour of England when we were in Worcester," McCullum stuck to his stand during the speech.

"At the outset, I think it is appropriate, standing here at the 'Home of Cricket', to confirm that I stand by everything said in my statements and the evidence I gave at the Southwark Crown Court," he said.

"In any case, before the New Zealand team's first game in the World Cup of 2011, John Rhodes, a representative of the ICC's anti-corruption unit, addressed us. He told us that if we had been, or were, approached about match-fixing and we did not report it then we were, in the eyes of the ICC, just as guilty as the person who approached us. I had told other people about Cairns' approaches - one of them was my captain and friend, Dan Vettori," McCullum said.

The retired swashbuckler recalled getting surprised at the way his revelations were handled by Rhodes.

"After John Rhodes, completed his address I approached Dan and we went and saw Rhodes, telling him I had something to share with him. Rhodes took us to his hotel room where I detailed the approaches made by Cairns. Rhodes took notes - he did not record our conversation.

"He said he would get what I said down on paper and that it would probably end up at the bottom of the file with nothing eventuating.

"Looking back on this, I am very surprised by what I perceive to be a very casual approach to gathering evidence. I was reporting two approaches by a former international star of the game. I was not asked to elaborate on anything I said and I signed a statement that was essentially nothing more than a skeleton outline," McCullum was forthright during his speech.

'Made three statements'

The former wicket-keeper-batsman also detailed his experience of presenting evidence in a court of law.

"Needless to say, by the time I sat in the witness box in London in October 2015, I had made three statements in relation to the issues.

"The second statement was requested by the ICC's anti-corruption unit much later on - a clear indication that my first statement was inadequate - but how on earth could I have known that. As a player I had reported an approach - and it was recorded sparsely by the person I reported to."

McCullum then offered some advice to the ICC on how to deal with player revelations. "I think players deserve better from the ICC and that, in the future, the evidence-gathering exercise has to be much more thorough, more professional.

"In my opinion, a person taking a statement should ensure that the witness is advised about what may occur - that if evidence were to be given in the future and the witness did not put everything in that initial statement or changed what they said in any way, then this would likely impact on their credibility."

"When I made my first statement to the ICC, my impression was that it would be put in the bottom draw and never see the light of day again. No attempt was made to illicit a full and comprehensive statement from me on that occasion."

McCullum also mentioned that how his evidence was leaked to the media. "I do wish that the ICC had handled my initial approach more professionally for the reasons I have given. No witness who has provided evidence to the ICC should ever have to go through such a scenario again.

"The leak has never been explained to me; to my knowledge no one has been held accountable and, in those circumstances, it is difficult to have confidence in the ICC."

PTI

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