AUSTRALIAN Test great Merv Hughes says he’d be shocked if cricket was embroiled in the sport drugs controversy.
A damning report from the Australian Crime Commission — released on Thursday — revealed all of Australia’s major sporting codes were being investigated over match-fixing and drug use.
But Hughes, who took 212 Test wickets, said he had no reason to believe cricket was at the centre of those probes.
He was at Chiltern’s Telegraph Hotel yesterday to speak at the town’s inaugural business luncheon, as well as host a sportsmen’s night.
“If there is an issue in cricket then I’ve got my head in the sand because I don’t see it,” Hughes said.
“Personally I’ve never seen any indication of it.
“But, then again, if you’d asked me about the gambling stuff 15 years ago I would have said the same thing.
“I choose to believe that if there is a problem that it would only be a speck in the ocean.
“I have great faith that most sportsmen are clean.
“And I hope I’m right.”
The former Australian selector said he had no issue with the growing influence of science in professional sport.
“Ultimately they are employed to get the best out of the players,” Hughes said.
“The two best mates I had in the structure when I was a selector were the physiotherapist and the conditioning man.
“They could virtually predict when a player would get injured which, from a selector’s point of view, is good to know.”
Hughes, who spent more than five years as a selector, also threw his weight behind Australia’s polarising rotation policy.
“I fully support and agree with it,” he said.
“What a lot of people don’t understand is that in October the Australian team started an 18-month long campaign.
“It’s not about players missing one or two games now that’s the concern for Australia.
“It’s having those players available to play in India and in the Ashes.”