WELLINGTON: The International Cricket Council (ICC) has confirmed it is investigating former New Zealand players for their alleged involvement in match fixing.
The ICC says no players have been charged with any offence but a probe is ongoing into "fixing activity" and related matters.
It issued a statement in response to a report in the New Zealand Herald newspaper that up to three former Black Caps were being investigated by the ICC's anti-corruption and security unit (ACSU) for alleged match and spot fixing.
The newspaper on Thursday afternoon published a new report that stated the three cricketers under investigation are Chris Cairns, Lou Vincent and Darryl Tuffey.
"Neither the ICC nor NZC have been able to confirm the names as yet," the newspaper reported. "No charges have been laid."
The newspaper reported that Cairns is currently in Dunedin commentating on the NZ-West Indies Test match but left the ground after he was named. He declined to comment on the allegations when asked by a local reporter.
"He has elected to stop commentating on the current Test match and come back to Auckland to be with his family. Sky will be talking to him over the coming days," said a spokesperson for Sky TV, the broadcaster where Cairns works.
According to the newspaper, fixing took place in more than one country and had been under the spotlight from Australasian ACSU head John Rhodes for the past four months.
New Zealand Cricket issued a two-sentence statement which confirmed the investigation involving "a small number" of its former players.
The ICC didn't dispute anything in the newspaper report.
"The ICC confirms that it has indeed been working closely over the past few months with its colleagues in the domestic anti-corruption units of member boards to investigate these and related matters," its statement said.
"The ICC and all of its members maintain a zero-tolerance attitude towards corruption in the sport, and the ACSU will continue to collaborate with relevant individuals in order to complete its investigation process."
The revelation comes less than a week after the government released a report into corruption into New Zealand sport in which it asserted there was little to be concerned about.
However, Sports Minister Murray McCully promised to ramp up the fight against corruption by implementing greater information sharing among government and sporting bodies to stamp out potential match-fixing, doping and illegal activity.
The report was instigated after the Australia Crime Commission (ACC) earlier this year linked organised crime and banned substances to several Australian sporting codes including rugby league and Australian Rules football.
AAP, with Scott Spits