Spot-fixing controversy October 20, 2010

ICC plan unlawful if it's enacted, say players' lobbies

ESPNcricinfo staff

The South African Cricketers' Association (SACA) has said a plan being considered by the ICC to use undercover agents posing as bookies to approach players is potentially unlawful, but the English players' association isn't worried because it doesn't think the idea is a "serious" one.

"I think it was more a case of people at the ICC thinking out loud than a serious proposal so I'm not going to get too excited or worried about it at this stage," Angus Porter, chief executive of the Professional Cricketers' Association (PCA), told ESPNcricinfo. "It's a case of the ICC bouncing ideas around and this is just one that came up." The PCA is the representative body of past and present first-class cricketers in England and Wales.

However, Porter added that if the idea were to go ahead, he would express his concerns, saying he doubts "the charges would stand a court of law."

The ICC is mulling the use of undercover agents to check how players respond to being approached by individuals who could be illegal bookmakers. Under the new plan, players who fail to report the approaches from the agents would face penalties under the ICC's anti-corruption code, as well as punishments ranging from warnings to fines and suspensions.

"Perhaps one way of ensuring vigilance is approaching a player and see if it is reported, because it is an offence not to report any approach." Haroon Lorgat, ICC chief executive, said.

Tony Irish, chief executive of SACA, said the sport's governing body needs "to get its house in order" with regard to protecting players' confidentiality before it could even consider supporting such a plan. "It is one thing to entrap players who may be directly involved in match fixing, but we have a number of concerns around entrapping innocent players for the purpose of sanctioning them for not reporting a suspicious approach."

He went on to echo the comments made by Paul Marsh, chief executive of the Australian Cricket Association, in saying he was disappointed the ICC did not consult the Federation of International Cricketers' Associations, which has made a number of recommendations on how the players' associations can work more closely with the ICC and country boards to eradicate fixing. Marsh had also criticised the plan, saying it is neither "reasonable" nor "lawful".

Reported by Firdose Moonda, Sahil Dutta and Nagraj Gollapudi

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Udayan on October 21, 2010, 17:09 GMT

    In any case, if it was supposed to be undercover it should have been that. Now everyone is aware and so players would not do something as dumb as they might have. So this is beyond dumb. This is just showing that they are trying to do something while doing nothing.

  • Michael on October 21, 2010, 14:35 GMT

    that's the whole point!!??

    this PR initiative has got nothing to with catching and prosecuting players under the law. It is about creating an environment in which bookies can be exposed and therefore tracked and prevented from doing more damage. What incentive is there for the ICC to approach a player and then go after them for not reporting that same approach.... absolutely none! It creates a scandal that didn't previously exist and is unlikely to be ever successfully be prosecuted. This is about educating players to report everything

  • Dummy4 on October 21, 2010, 14:00 GMT

    What a dumb idea! because: 1) it is unlawful. Brcause, after approching a player if that player ask at the beginning "are u an icc agent?", the agent must tell the truth otherwise the player cant be indicted in the court in future. 2) what will happen if player fail to notify because he may not notice that he was approched- because of high concentration on play or language problem, 3)there is no doubt, there are many corrupt politicians are involved with icc and cricket boards, especially from india, pakistan, bangladesh, sri-lanka-icc should concentrate how to get rid of those first. btw, here is a true example: in netherlands, to prevent bicycle theft, plain dressed police ask normal bystanders whether they like to buy a bike from him. If the answer is Yes, immediately 200 euro fine. But, if the bystander is clever, simply asks the question, "Are you a law-enforcement personnel?", they have to admit otherwise it is unlawful.

  • Michael on October 21, 2010, 10:26 GMT

    Surely the ICC are being far cleverer than we are giving them credit for, for once. In an attempt to clean up the game they want every dodgy approach reported. By spreading the seed of doubt that the bookie may indeed be an undercover ICC representative they will increase the number of these approaches that are reported. Whether they go through with the plan or not. This is purely a PR exercise not an entrapment one so the legalities are totally irrelevant!!

  • gopal on October 21, 2010, 9:32 GMT

    hmmm... whats the plan for existing strong (?) relationship between current players and their trusted bookies, if any ? Why would they encourage new bookies if they already have one ? This one step is not enough.

  • adi on October 21, 2010, 6:56 GMT

    just brilliant..the savants of ICC have come up with yet another brilliant plan..where do they get such brilliant ideas...if this is the best idea they could think of to counter corruption their think-tank must have dried up looooooong back...instead of wasting money on sessions to think up such stupid ideas they can atleast give that to some of the associate nations..maybe they will be able to buy atleast a few good cricket kits to encourage the sport in their countries...

  • amit on October 21, 2010, 5:07 GMT

    i do not like this idea . These methods only help in distracting players ,and cricket will more be in news for these tantrums .rather ICC should strengthen their present regulations, and take prompt & strict action against those found guilty

  • amit on October 21, 2010, 5:00 GMT

    @ gods dream ........merely saying that SRT or someone else is corrupt would not work . it need them to prove their case

  • TR on October 20, 2010, 22:57 GMT

    (1) I think this is a great idea by ICC, even to announce like this! Now a bad player, if approached by a genuine broker will have to verify that its not the undercover - too much of head-ache & risk for the player. I am sure this will stop all future new connections. If this plan is implemented ultimately there will be no match-fix. (the current bad players have to retire one day, right?).

    (2) I also request ICC to scan ICC and other cricket board members under this surveillance radar. It is very possible that some board members esp the selectors can have hand in player performance. Well include the umpires and pitch curators too...

    (3) I dont think ICC can be sued simply because they are 'suspecting' people. But if they punish players based on their 'trial-behavior' that may be illegal. Dont know. But then they can always drop players without giving any reasons.. so, that punishment would suffice.

  • Dummy4 on October 20, 2010, 22:42 GMT

    Nice plan but why do they wanna make it public? @God's dream What on earth are you talking about? You have a good sense of humor!

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