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Match-fixing has again cast its shadow over cricket after it emerged that one of the touring Australia players was approached after the second Test at Lord's in July by a man suspected of links to illegal bookmaking.

The unnamed player immediately reported the approach – which took place in the bar of the team's London hotel – to the Australian management, which alerted the International Cricket Council's Anti-Corruption and Security Unit (Acsu). The matter remains under investigation, but the timing of the news – on the eve of an Ashes decider, a rare blue-riband event on cricket's congested calendar – is a blow for a sport desperate to rid itself of the match-fixing stigma yet increasingly concerned that the spread of Twenty20 has provided illegal bookmakers with fresh opportunities to snare players.

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