Wellington: New Zealand Cricket (NZC) on Monday said that Brendon McCullum was not under investigation for corruption after reports surfaced that he was approached to fix matches in 2008.
NZC said it was “dismayed” that McCullum’s testimony to the International Cricket Council’s anti-corruption unit had been leaked to the British media, saying that the New Zealand captain was committed to cleaning up the game.
“We can confirm that Brendon is NOT under investigation by the ICC and his testimony has actually been applauded by them,” NZC said in a statement.
“NZC has 100 percent confidence in our captain and his role in tackling corruption.”
The Daily Mail reported that McCullum told investigators he was approached by a “world renowned former cricketer” twice in 2008, first in Calcutta ahead of the inaugural IPL, then during New Zealand’s tour of England later that year.
McCullum reportedly said that the former star, player X, whom he described as “a hero who became a friend”, offered him up to £107,000 ($180,000) to under-perform in matches.
The New Zealander, who was made the captain of the national side in late 2012, said he was “shell shocked” at the approach and told investigators he had never fixed a match.
“(X) said that the ‘Big Boys’ in international cricket were doing it and he didn’t want me to miss out,” the Daily Mail reported.
“I am sure that he mentioned names to me, but I cannot remember, although I seem to think that X mainly mentioned Asian cricketers.”
“Using the piece of paper X explained the basic principles which were to score below a certain rate for the first six or so overs and then towards the end of the game there was another split. X told me he had done this himself.
“[He] told me that potentially he could get for me from between $70,000-180,000 (£42-000-£107,000) a game.
“X told me he had a good group working for him in the ICL and I understand this to mean fixing for him. It was my opinion then, as it is now, that X was actively concerned in fixing... I believed he was asking me to do the same thing for him in the IPL as others were doing in the ICL.”
McCullum asked the man how he was able to take money back to New Zealand without raising suspicion.
“X told me that you don’t take or send it back to New Zealand. He explained that he had a man in Dubai who was associated with cricket.
“Through him you purchase a property in Dubai which you retain for a couple of years before selling it.
“The money could then be moved wherever you want to send it because to all intents and purposes, it would appear to be profit from property deals rather than fixing. X told me the name of that man in Dubai.”
According to the Daily Mail report, despite McCullum saying he has “never, ever fixed” he didn’t have the courage to say no immediately and instead said he would think about it before returning to his hotel in a “state of shock”.
Later the star telephoned him and McCullum told him he was not interested. Player X is believed to be the same person who former New Zealand batsman Lou Vincent admitted to the corruption probe that he fixed matches for, it said.
Vincent is believed to have agreed a plea bargain in the hope of avoiding a criminal prosecution for his involvement in and knowledge of spot-fixing in five or more countries between 2008-2012.
Vincent was revealed last December to have been under investigation along with fellow New Zealanders Chris Cairns and Daryl Tuffey over allegations of match-fixing.
He later confirmed that he had been approached by bookmakers.
Related report: Page 16