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Atherton ‘highly skeptical’ about England’s spot-fixing involvement

Former English captain Michael Atherton is ‘highly skeptical’ about the claims of probability of England and Australia became involved in match fixing, the bizarre phenomenon that came under light after famous television channel Al – Jazeera broadcasted ‘Cricket’s Match Fixers’ on Sunday.

The program hinted about alleged incidents of spot-fixing in a Chennai match between England and India in December 2016 and the Australia-India test in Ranchi in March 2017.

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“When it comes to betting and fixing, dangers are ever present. There is a massive black-market operation in India worth many billions of pounds,” Atherton wrote in his column for The Times.

“The game, especially around the fringes and where there are enormous discrepancies in earning potential, is vulnerable. But highly paid international players in very visible, high-profile matches? In this case I remain highly skeptical,” he said.

The Al – Jazeera documentary also claimed that Galle Stadium manager might have involved in pitch doctoring under suggestions from match fixers.

“Since the match-fixing crisis of the 1990s, the awareness among players of the problem of fixing, the potential consequences (time in jail and five years out of the game for Mohammad Amir, remember, for nothing more than a newspaper sting) and stringent controls around dressing rooms by the ICC have made it much less likely to be a problem in international cricket.

“The players are paid too well (especially those from India, England and Australia). They have too much to lose,” the former English opener said.

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