Cricket bosses have warned they are on guard against corruption as spot-fixing allegations by a former Sussex player threaten to rock the sport.
Sussex kick off their T20 campaign versus Surrey tonight against a backdrop of allegations by their former batsman Lou Vincent, revealed by the Daily Telegraph yesterday.
The newspaper’s claims include allegations about Sussex’s CB40 fixture against Kent at Hove in 2011, which saw the home county lose.
The televised match, in which Vincent took seven balls to score one run after Sharks had got off to a brisk start, is being studied by the ICC for evidence of corruption, according to the report.
ECB spokesman Andrew Walpole admitted televised fixtures were of particular concern in the battle against fixing.
But he added some games not shown live were also being patrolled by anti-corruption officials.
Walpole told The Argus: “The ECB refuse to comment on the allegations, which are part of an ongoing investigation.
“But we do remain vigilant at all times about the threat posed by corrupt activities and we continue to work closely with the PCA to educate players and officials about the potential dangers to their careers and the integrity of the sport.
“As has been the case in the previous two county seasons, we will also be employing a seven-strong team of anti-corruption officials to monitor all televised domestic and tour matches this year as well as selected non-televised domestic fixtures.”
The Daily Telegraph newspaper said the ICC was probing “widespread fixing across the cricketing world”.
Vincent confirmed late last year that he was assisting an investigation by the ICC’s anti-corruption unit.
The Twenty20 specialist played in England, India, Zimbabwe, South Africa and New Zealand when his international career ended in 2007 after 23 Tests and 103 one-day internationals.
He said in December: “I wish to let everyone know that I am co-operating with an ongoing ICC anti-corruption investigation that has been made public.
“This investigation is bound by a number of rules and regulations that mean I am unable to make any further public comment.”
Vincent played for Sussex in all forms of the game in 2011 having previously been with Lancashire.
Sussex revealed more than a year ago that some of their players had been approached before the game against Kent.
Dave Brooks, who at the time was the club’s chief executive, said: “The players reported it to us. They had been asked to ensure Sussex lost the game and they point blank said no.
“I have not known anything like this in my time at Sussex, not before or since then.
“I think these things are actually incredibly rare.
“We took statements from the players themselves and carried out an internal investigation before we liaised with the PCA.
“This was before the ECB had their anti-corruption policy in place.
“We thought it reasonable to speak to the players' union before we went to the ECB.
“You do the right thing at these things but it is not a case of ‘didn’t we do well’.
“It was blindingly obvious what we had to do.
“You have to make sure the respectability and integrity of the sport remains of paramount importance.”
Sussex have been advised by the ECB not to comment on yesterday’s Telegraph report.