Maxwell ‘shocked’ and ‘hurt’ by fixing allegations

Glenn Maxwell scored his maiden Test hundred (Associated Press photo)

Glenn Maxwell has spoken about his anger at being linked to allegations of spot-fixing in an investigative documentary, while also revealing he has previously reported suspicious on-field events in IPL matches to anti-corruption officials.An Al Jazeera exploration of corruption in cricket alleged that Australian players were involved in spot-fixing during the 2017 Ranchi Test against India, in which Maxwell made his first Test century after being recalled. While the documentary did not name Maxwell, match footage included left little doubt that he was one of two Australian players being accused.

Maxwell said he had been informed by Cricket Australia that the documentary was going to air, but was not questioned by anti-corruption officials about allegations of spot-fixing to meet a pre-planned number of runs in a “bracket” of overs on the first day of the match.

It is believed that an ICC investigation into the documentary’s various allegations is still ongoing, amid haggling between the governing body and the filmmakers over hours of raw footage collected by Al Jazeera. The possibility remains that Maxwell may still be interviewed about Ranchi.

“I was shocked. I was a bit hurt by it as well,” Maxwell told SEN Radio. “To have these allegations about your involvement in a game where you’ve only got happy memories about it, great memories…I still remember the feeling after hugging Steve Smith after getting my maiden Test hundred.

“To have that tarnished by these allegations was pretty devastating and obviously there’s absolutely no truth to it whatsoever. It was 100% unfair, to tarnish one of the best moments of my career was pretty brutal.

“The only thing they could have done worse was tarnish that [2015] World Cup win. They’re two of the best moments of my career. To say I’d done anything untoward in that game, when I’d just finally got back in the Test side – I’d worked my absolute backside off – to say I’d do anything to ruin that would be absolutely ridiculous.”

The relevant portion of the documentary was sent to Maxwell to view in the days before it went to air. Asked whether he was interviewed by “cricket authorities” about the match, Maxwell said he was “told on the phone they were going to air it” but replied “they actually didn’t” when queried over whether or not anti-corruption officers from CA or the ICC had formally approached him for questions about the veracity of the allegations.

“If [Al Jazeera] mentioned any names, they would be taken down pretty heavily,” Maxwell said. “They didn’t mention any specific names but did basically say the time of the game, which was my involvement. You could see it was the gear that I was using, and there wasn’t anyone else using that gear in that game. That was certainly very hard to take.”

Speaking about his involvement in other tournaments, Maxwell indicated it was not uncommon for him to report “anything untoward” to anti-corruption officers. Asked whether he had seen things in overseas Twenty20 leagues that were enough to have his “antennae up”, Maxwell replied “100%”.

“I’ve been very honest with them [anti-corruption officers] the whole way through with the IPL,” Maxwell said. “If I’ve ever seen anything untoward I always sat down with them, had a long coffee and just talked about everything to make sure nothing ever, ever comes back to me.

“If there’s anything slightly amiss, I always give them a call and make sure they have every bit of evidence they can possibly have. There’s some things you see in the game of cricket where you’re always just a little bit unsure. All the things you do hear in the game, and when it comes out later on you go, ‘Oh, I swear I could have noticed that while I was watching it’.

“It was probably easier when I was captain and I was able to see the way the game was going, and the instructions that I was giving players, and the way the game was moving, I could actually work it out a little better. There wasn’t really anything untoward in the season I was captain, but you could certainly tell from opposition stuff and that’s why I reported certain things.” (ESPNCricinfo)


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