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Australia shocked by new fixing claims over Sydney test

Sports Desk |
Update: 2010-08-29 17:11:41
Australia shocked by new fixing claims over Sydney test

MELBOURNE: Australia`s cricketers remain convinced their test victory over Pakistan in Sydney earlier this year was achieved fairly after the contest has once again become the subject of match-fixing allegations.

On Saturday, police in London arrested a man for offering bribes to some Pakistan players for spot fixing in the fourth test against England at Lord`s following claims in the tabloid newspaper, the News of the World.

The man also told the newspaper the Sydney test in January, which Australia won by 36 runs after overcoming a 206-run first innings deficit before dismissing Pakistan for 139 in their run chase, had been fixed.

The match was investigated by the ICC`s anti-corruption unit, while the Pakistan tour of Australia, in which the tourists lost all of their matches, was the subject to an inquiry by the Pakistani board.

"As a cricketer everything I have seen so far has been quite shocking to tell the truth," Australia captain Ricky Ponting told ABC radio on Monday.

"The way we won (in Sydney) was one of the more satisfying moments that I`ve had on the cricket field.

"And now when some of these things come to light is when you start to slightly doubt some of the things that have happened.

"We all felt that we`d done everything in our power after a shaky start on day one.

"It wasn`t until... maybe even a couple of months after that game was over that it (match-fixing speculation) all sort of started."

Batsman Mike Hussey, whose 134 not out in the second innings and 123-run ninth wicket stand with Peter Siddle helped set up the win, and off-spinner Nathan Hauritz also told local media they felt the victory was achieved fairly.

Cricket Australia said they were also shocked by the revelations but had no doubt the team had won the match on their merits.

"The reports from the UK are most disturbing and we look forward to the outcome of rigourous investigation by the UK authorities as well as by the ICC," CA chief executive James Sutherland said in a statement on Monday.

"We have no knowledge of the current allegations but by their very nature, they demonstrate the absolute importance of world cricket maintaining its vigilance in relation to anti-corruption."

The man at the centre of the allegations was released without charge on police bail on Monday, according to the BBC.

BDST: 1351HRS, August 30, 2010

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