LONDON: England captain Joe Root and coach Trevor Bayliss both described allegations their side fixed aspects of a Test against India at Chennai in 2016 as “outrageous”.
After England’s nine-wicket defeat by Pakistan in the first Test at Lord’s on Sunday, Root was asked to comment on the allegations made in a programme about spot-fixing to be broadcast later Sunday by the Al Jazeera television channel.
“I am aware that there is a documentary and it is outrageous that our players have been accused,” Root told the BBC.
The Yorkshireman was more concerned with ensuring England bounce back strongly in next week’s second Test of a two-match series at his Headingley home ground.
“It’s not anything for the guys to worry about, we have to focus on winning at Headingley.”
In a separate post-match press conference, Root said the allegations were “ridiculous”.
“All the players have been briefed by the ECB (England and Wales Cricket Board), and been told there’s absolutely nothing to worry about.”
The top-order batsman put his faith in the International Cricket Council to judge the worth of the Al Jazeera documentary, adding: “I’ve just been told to strongly deny the accusations because it sounds quite ridiculous really.
“It’s for the ICC to sort out — they’re the people in charge — and if there’s anything to it they’ll look into it.
“But I’ve been told there’s nothing to worry about,” Root insisted.
Bayliss was similarly forthright in a separate interview with Sky Sports.
“Outrageous,” said the England coach, when asked about the fixing claims.
“I knew a documentary was going to be coming out. I wouldn’t have a clue what’s in it yet, or seen it.
“But, having been there (at the Chennai Test), outrageous is all I can say,” the Australian added.
England lost that Test in Chennai by an innings and 75 runs.