Spot-fixing controversy October 19, 2010

ICC mulls undercover agents to tackle corruption

ESPNcricinfo staff

Undercover agents posing as illegal bookmakers could be used to approach cricketers as part of a radical proposal by the ICC to fight corruption.

The use of undercover agents is meant 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 face penalties under the ICC's anti-corruption code, as well as punishments ranging from warnings to fines and suspensions.

ICC chief executive Haroon Lorgat told the Sydney Morning Herald that the idea of the 'undercover' agents was just one among a number of plans being considered by the governing body, ''We are thinking of setting up our own approaches to players, to see if they report it, we will think out of the box."

The plan is still under consideration and forms but one part of the ICC's anti-corruption measures to be to be discussed in its next meeting.

Lorgat said, ''It is only a tentative plan at this stage, we are working on a number of measures to combat corruption. We are not sitting on our hands on this issue, we are being as proactive as we can in ensuring the integrity of the game is maintained.''

At the moment the ICC can only record the number of approaches reported to them by players, but in order to get a firmer grasp of the scale of corruption in the game they need a sense of how many approaches go unreported.

The feeling within the game's governing body is that if players were aware that a suspicious approach could be from an undercover agent, they would be more likely to report it.

If the plan is approved at the ICC's next meeting, it could come into being as soon as next month's Ashes and be in place for the World Cup in February.