Cook laments spot-fixing 'curse'
England captain Alastair Cook is "incredibly worried" about the spectre of spot-fixing which continues to "cheapen" his sport.
- Related Content
Cook's concerns were published on Monday - hours after reports appeared that New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum provided the International Cricket Council with testimony of a historic attempt by an unnamed, high profile player to lure him into spot-fixing with a £100,000-plus offer.
Cook has never been targeted, but is frustrated nonetheless by the curse of spot-fixing.
"You know the tell-tale signs," he told the London Evening Standard.
"But you can always do more, can't you, if it is still going on now? It is a worry."
Cook played in the Lord's Test of 2011, in which Pakistan players later admitted to an attempted spot-fixing scam for which they were banned and convicted.
"I've been involved already in a high-profile game which has been changed by [corrupt practices], and it cheapens the sport.
"It's frustrating because you know how much hard work you've done in cricket - and you trust that all the other professionals have done the same.
"Clearly, there are more and more cases that seem to be coming up now.
"People are there to watch the cricket and they need to know that what they are watching is genuine.
"They need to know the players are trying their hardest, not for any financial gain off the field.
"It makes you incredibly worried. I know from how I play the game, you're trying to protect the values, the traditions and history of the game - and play it in the right way.
"When you walk on to the field, you're doing it with the best intentions at heart and to try to win the game for your team.
"That's why you test yourself in sport.
"I've never been exposed to it personally and I don't know how deep it goes, but it's obviously a very serious situation.
"People have said it's the tip of the iceberg - and if that's the case and more and more comes out, it will damage the sport."
New Zealand Cricket, meanwhile has voiced its "dismay" that McCullum's evidence to world cricket anti-corruption investigators has reached the public domain.
Kiwi captain McCullum's employers have made it clear too that he is in no way under suspicion of any wrong-doing and his testimony has been "applauded" by the ICC.
NZC issued a statement to Cricinfo, after reports on Monday that McCullum told officers from the ICC's anti-corruption and security unit that - six years ago - he was offered more than £100,000 to under-perform and therefore contribute to a spot-fix in matches.
"New Zealand Cricket is dismayed that Brendon McCullum's testimony to the International Cricket Council has been leaked to the media," the statement read.
"We can confirm that Brendon is not under investigation by the ICC and his testimony has actually been applauded by them. NZC has 100% confidence in our captain and his role in tackling corruption."
According to reports, McCullum told the ICC of an approach - claiming an unnamed player first contacted him during the inaugural IPL season in 2008 and then again on tour in England the same year.
NZC chief executive David White explained the protocol of responding to information which only became known to the national board late last year.
"In regards to the investigation, what we had decided to do and agreed with the ICC was we would wait until their investigation was completed," he said.
"Once they had all the information, we would decide at New Zealand Cricket whether we would take any action."
McCullum's evidence has come to light after it was reported last week his compatriot Lou Vincent was involved in an anti-corruption investigation - including his assertion that attempted spot-fixing took place in Twenty20 and 40-over domestic cricket in England.