Russell Denies Match Fixing Charges

It was early on Sunday morning that the disturbing news broke as locals read the front page of “The Soashe On Sunday” pictured below. Those involved at GCC were shocked to read the damning article about one of their players. Whilst factually probably incorrect and certainly inconsistent, there are a number of pointers that pull this story together into something almost credible. The article focused on middle order GCC batsman and serial gambler, Jonny Russell – and came a day after the final GCC league game of the season which resulted in a GCC win that was overshadowed by these corruption allegations.

Front page of this weeks "Tha Soashe On Sunday"

“Tha Soashe On Sunday”, a low-grade local tabloid that frequently gets the story wrong, put together the undercover sting following Goring CC’s stunning win at Checkendon, which unfortunately was not enough to keep them in Division One, due to a bizarre result between Emmbrook vs. Bearwood vs. Farley Hill. The paper also had a photo of the man in the spotlight Jonny Russell, apparently receiving £150,000 worth of Lucozade Sport (Orange flavour) in exchange for information regarding match outcomes.

The paper went on to report how earlier in the week Russell had prepared and publicised his “Ready Recknoner” describing, it seemed, ALL eventualities that could take place and how GCC may avoid relegation. After Goring’s incredible win, the spreadsheet was read again and Emmbrook CC contacted by telephone. The incoming latest score, on a day of high drama, did not seem to fit with any of the options presented previously by Russell. The charge overnight was put to him that he had somehow manufactured the GCC win – and then headed over to Emmbrook – claiming it was “near where I live” to see out their game and affect the result in some way.

At the Checkendon game, GCC had clearly made more runs than Russell had anticipated, and managed to reach the 175 run mark, giving us the possibility of 34 points were Goring to bowl out the opposition. Russell it seemed deliberately gave away his wicket being caught out first ball. He had not reckoned however on Hedgey scoring a magnificent straight drive four and also running a single to the ‘keeper with Tim Deeks in the last few overs.

It does appear however, that Russell had an impact on young, upcoming GCC pace bowler, Jamir Vikari. Vikari was alleged to have deliberately bowled “three of the fastest deliveries by a GCC player” at pre-arranged times to oust three of the Checkendon batsmen. Russell had also taken two slip catches for GCC, one being an absolute blinder to which he responded in true gambler style “you gotta know when to hold ‘em”.

Not content with the outcome, Russell returned to Goring from Emmbrook and headed to Massooms to investigate any further betting opportunities not only with other GCC players but with restaurant staff too. His final throw of the dice saw an impromptu trip to Lords on Sunday for a final few wagers on some test match that was going on up there.

A subdued Goring Captain, Jonny Westcar, speaking on Sunday morning after Goring’s victory on Saturday said: “I don’t think anyone wants to finish a season in this scenario.

“It has taken the gloss off the season finale win which is very disappointing because we had some outstanding performances. Notably the bowling of Slade (6 wickets) and Vikari (3).”

Club Auditor Russell is no stranger to controversy. Back in 2008 he was banned for life from taking part in the Goring Social Club Friday night meat draws following a meat-fixing incident with an out of date pork loin and a breakfast pack.

Upswinger! spoke to Russell regarding the claims;

“I am not in a position to comment right now, but if anyone wants any 100 Club tickets, please get in touch” said Russell.



2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Off Side Maestro on August 31, 2010 at 9:12 am

    I saw the skipper and Russell exchanging what looked like a hooded jacket and some cash in the Pavillion last week. I couldn’t hear exactly what was being said but definitely heard something about this being the “big one” and that it was for “next Saturday’s match.”

    The problem goes beyond Russell and the Skipper though. Each week all the players (with the exception of Carrier) and the skipper can be seen excahging tenners after the game. The money then appears to get passed onto a Mr Big character who launders the ill-gotten gains via the Social Club fruit machines.


  2. Posted by Jonny's Lawyer on September 1, 2010 at 12:11 pm

    Statement on behalf of Jonny Russell:

    Jonny vigirously denies the allegations of wrongdoing set out in the recent edition of the Soashe on Sunday.

    The allegations are unfounded and without merit. His legal team has advised that he pursues a libel case against the ‘Soashe on Sunday’, however Jonny’s long term devotion to the future of The Soashe has led to him declining to pursue a case.

    Jonny would like to emphasise his continued commitment and passion for a cricket club that he describes as ‘The greatest Cricket Club in the land, with the best bunch of subscribed members (Ollie Carrier and Dan Harrigan being the exception as they are tight-fisted long overdue debtors) and supporters any middle-order batsmen could desire’

    His recent scores of 9, 4, 0 (dropped first ball, out 4th ball) and 0 (first ball) are a concern to Jonny, but there is no evidence of collusion and he admits to ‘feeling the pressure’ of the exciting yet ultimately failed survival bid. Jonny is looking forward to using the September friendlies to improve his average and nudge it towards double figures in preparation for the all important Winter Indoor League.


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