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ICC: Brendon McCullum is not under suspicion of any corrupt activity after testimony leaked

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WELLINGTON, New Zealand - International Cricket Council chief executive Dave Richardson says leaks of testimony given to the sport's Anti-Corruption and Security Unit by New Zealanders Lou Vincent and Brendon McCullum have dealt "a devastating blow" to trust in the unit and its work to stop match fixing.

Richardson told Radio New Zealand in an interview Wednesday he is "extremely dismayed ... disappointed" that evidence provided by former test batsman Vincent and current New Zealand captain McCullum to the ACSU has been published in British newspapers. He said the ICC would make every effort to determine who is responsible.

The leaked testimony allowed media organizations to name ex-New Zealand allrounder Chris Cairns as 'Player X,' the figure reportedly identified by Vincent and McCullum as being a ringleader of fixing operations.

Cairns followed up with two statements within 24 hours in which he conceded people would think he is Player X, but said allegations he was involved in match fixing were "a complete lie" and he would prove his innocence.

"I am aware that former cricketer Lou Vincent and current New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum have made a range of allegations against a cricketer dubbed Player X," Cairns said.

"It is well known that the (anti-corruption security unit) has been investigating allegations of corruption and my name has been linked by others to these allegations. I am being asked whether I am Player X.

"Based on the limited information I have received during this investigation, I believe it is being alleged that I am that player. These allegations against me are a complete lie."

Richardson told Radio New Zealand there was no evidence the statements of Vincent and McCullum were leaked by the ACSU itself. He said the current investigation crossed "three or four" jurisdictions and involved law enforcement agencies, ICC stakeholders and others.

The ICC investigation of the leaks was being conducted under the supervision of its ethics officer and, while the police were not directly involved, the matter had been discussed with representatives of London's Metropolitan police.

"The leak of any kind of information we view as a very serious matter and particularly as in this instance when the nature of the information that has found its way into the media is, No. 1, highly confidential, but in addition to that it's also been provided in tightly-controlled circumstances by individuals to the ACSU as part of ongoing investigations," Richardson said.

"We've spent a lot of time over the years trying to build up the trust between the ACSU and players and other stakeholders and this is a devastating blow to that trust and to that work."

Richardson said the leak of the Vincent statement probably occurred last Friday.

"That was not too much of a surprise to us because it was in the public domain already that he had come forward and was co-operating with the ACSU in their investigation," Richardson said. "But, certainly when the McCullum statement leaked yesterday the extent of the possible leaks hit home and we really were concerned."

He said McCullum was not under investigation, and rejected the notion that the leaks meant the work of the ACSU was now in tatters.

Staff in the ACSU "have got collectively years and years of police experience," Richardson said. "They've made tremendous progress in the last few years.

"Their approach has changed and I don't think you should measure their success in the number of prosecutions. The work they've done in the preventative side, in educating players has been tremendous.

"The landscape is changing. We're finding domestic T20 leagues becoming the target for corrupt individuals trying to persuade players and other people involved in the game to get involved in fixing ... and the ACSU unit is adapting.

The latest leak reportedly relates to a sworn, 10-page document from Vincent's ex-wife Emma Riley, apparently provided last October.

In the document, obtained by Television New Zealand, Riley said Vincent's involvement in fixing began in the Indian Cricket League when Cairns allegedly offered him US$50,000 a game to manipulate results.

Riley said two weeks later she received a call from Vincent, who was crying, and who said he had lost Cairns $250,000 because a fix had gone wrong.

She alleged that she confronted Cairns in Manchester in 2008, concerned that Vincent's involvement would be discovered, but Cairns assured her he was safe.

"I said that you're involving so many players, you're involving the whole team and by doing that you're getting greedy," Riley said. "I just can't see how information on the fixing is not got to leak out to other and you're going to get caught.

"Chris said that I was right but told me not to worry as he had it all under control."

Richardson defended the length of time investigations by the ACSU have taken.

"Any evidence of any match that is fixed or corrupt is damaging to the game and we certainly recognize that this is probably the biggest threat to the game of cricket," he said. "The threat is not being ignored, it has been recognized and we're taking every opportunity to ensure that threat is combated in every possible way."

Vincent's revelations of spot fixing activities in five countries are part of a wave of corruption allegations that have recently swept world cricket. In India, the Supreme Court has ordered Narainswami Srinivasan to stand aside as president of the Board of Control for Cricket in India while it investigates allegations against him and up to 12 players relating to matches in the Indian Premier League. Srinivasan is due to become chairman of the ICC in July

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