France Cricket calls FRANCE 24’s ghost match revelations ‘fake’; ICC gathers information

The International Cricket Council (ICC) is looking into allegations raised by FRANCE 24 that France Cricket, the sport’s governing body in France, has overseen a system of fake matches in order to acquire funding.

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France Cricket chairman Prebagarane Balane told the news outlet Cricbuzz on Thursday that the revelations in a FRANCE 24 report published on Tuesday were “absolutely fake and baseless”.

The investigation found no conclusive evidence of any matches of the women’s second division in France taking place, despite clubs involved in the tournament submitting scorecards which were then rubber-stamped by France Cricket. ICC funding for associate members like France is contingent on factors such as the number of women playing cricket.

Read moreAllegations of fake matches, murky finances plague cricket in France

“As cricket recently has been included in the Olympics, if you try and understand, the timing couldn’t be better,” Balane is quoted as saying, “Now, they are just trying to get some traction. We have already been in touch with ICC and our lawyer is taking all the required measures.”

Contacted by FRANCE 24, France Cricket said they were preparing a legal response. The association did not respond to multiple requests for comment before publication of the investigation. It has not been the subject of any legal proceedings to date.

Meanwhile, the ICC told broadcaster Sky Sports that it was investigating the allegations; the ICC has not responded to FRANCE 24 to confirm this. The organisation told British newspaper The Telegraph that it was looking into the matter, but the latest round of cricket participation data from France Cricket was not yet due. The ICC has not said whether its Anti-Corruption Unit is investigating.

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