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More sports betting scandals likely, says lawyer

A senior partner at Russell McVeagh says he’s not surprised cricket match fixing allegations have emerged against former New Zealand players and warns of more local sporting scandals to come.

Richard McIlraith is a leading employment lawyer based in Auckland who also specialises in entertainment and sports law.

“Nothing would surprise me anymore given what we have read overseas,” he says when asked to comment on whether New Zealand sports teams face increasing scrutiny following revelations today.

Three former New Zealand cricketers are being investigated by the ICC's anti-corruption and security unit (ACSU), according to a report in the New Zealand Herald today.

New Zealand Cricket (NZC) has confirmed the investigation but is not commenting further.

The Herald reports that an ACSU unit has been in the country for four months as part of an investigation into match and spot-fixing.

Mr McIlraith told NBR ONLINE New Zealanders would be naïve to think that New Zealand sports teams were somehow divorced from what goes on in the rest of the world.

“I wouldn’t have thought cricket is alone," he says, adding that he wouldn’t be surprised if there are more stories to come.

NZ Cricket Players Association chief executive Heath Mills, who represents past and present first class players, told RNZ this afternoon that match-fixing is not necessarily about greed. Sometimes players are compromised by off-field actions, Mr Mills said.

He also emphasised that match fixing scams did not have to be elaborate. With ball-by-ball betting, even bowling a wide at an agreed time could yield a result for corrupt gamblers.

More by Duncan Bridgeman and NBR Staff