England Test captain Joe Root says corruption claims 'outrageous'

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Corruption claims outrageous - Root

Claims England players were involved in spot-fixing are "outrageous", says Test captain Joe Root.

The allegations are made in a new documentary by broadcaster Al Jazeera, released on Sunday.

In the programme, an alleged criminal match-fixer says three England players spot-fixed part of a Test match against India.

The England and Wales Cricket Board has spoken to the England players, who "emphatically deny the allegations".

"It's outrageous that England players have been accused of this," Root said.

Similar claims are also made against two Australian players - which cricket chiefs in that country have equally vociferously rejected, calling for any evidence to be released.

The International Cricket Council (ICC) has already begun an investigation.

"There is nothing we have seen that would make us doubt any of our players in any way whatsoever," said Tom Harrison, chief executive of the ECB.

"The limited information we have been given has been discussed with all the England players.

"They emphatically deny the allegations, have stated categorically that the claims are false, and they have our full support."

England coach Trevor Bayliss was equally emphatic, telling BBC Test Match Special: "It's outrageous to be honest. We'll just leave that up to the ECB to deal with."

Australian cricket chiefs said they were not aware of "any credible evidence" linking their players to alleged corruption.

"Although not having been provided an opportunity to view the documentary or any raw footage, our long-standing position on these matters is that credible claims will be treated very seriously and fully investigated," Cricket Australia chief executive James Sutherland said.

Alex Marshall, the general manager of the ICC anti-corruption unit, said: "We are taking the contents of the programme and the allegations it has made extremely seriously. A full investigation is now under way to examine each claim made.

"We have been in ongoing dialogue with the broadcaster, which has refused our continual requests to cooperate and share information, which has hampered our investigation to date."

Some of the claims in the programme - Cricket's Match-Fixers - relate to the Sri Lankan Test venue in Galle.

Earlier, Sri Lanka Cricket said it would give its "fullest co-operation" to any investigation into match-fixing.

The Pakistan Cricket Board said it was "in the process of reviewing reports regarding the alleged involvement" of one of its players in the documentary.

According to Al Jazeera, an undercover reporter spent 18 months posing as a wealthy businessman in order to speak to members of criminal gangs in India involved in spot-fixing, who it says were filmed on a hidden camera giving details of how they allegedly paid professional cricketers to fix parts of matches.

What is spot-fixing?

Spot-fixing is a deliberate attempt to manipulate part of a match, such as an over or a period of overs.

A player would deliberately under-perform, which would enable criminals to bet on various categories - such as amount of runs scored - during the selected period.

The incidents in themselves can be trivial and may not affect the result of the match.

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