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ICC fighting 'war' against corruption - Richardson

Nagraj Gollapudi

October 18, 2012

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Dave Richardson speaks at the Champions Trophy event, London, October 17, 2012
Dave Richardson: "Our anti-corruption unit has their work cut out to make sure the players are kept away from temptation" © Getty Images
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Dave Richardson, the ICC chief executive, has conceded that the recent sting operation by India TV involving six umpires from the sub-continent, who allegedly were willing to divulge information and even give favourable decisions in exchange for monetary profits, is a prime example of how far the tentacles of corruption have reached in cricket.

Richardson, who became chief executive on July 1, said cricket was confronting a "war" against corruption and the ICC was aware that the bookmakers were now targeting domestic Twenty20 leagues as a result of a tightening of security and education of international players by the anti-corruption and security unit (ACSU).

"It is everybody now unfortunately: everybody is susceptible, the curators, the groundsmen," Richardson said at the unveiling of the ICC Champions Trophy, which will be hosted in England in the summer of 2013. "At international level, whether it is a bilateral series or whether it is an ICC event, the attention to that aspect of the world game is at the same level every time we walk out onto the field so to speak.

"So it won't be any less, it won't be any more than normal. But the bottom line is, it is a bit of a war we are fighting and our anti-corruption unit has their work cut out to make sure the players are kept away from temptation and that we end up with a corruption-free event."

On October 8, India TV, a privately-owned Indian television channel, exposed details of the sting operation, which was carried out by undercover reporters. Nadir Shah (Bangladesh), Nadeem Ghauri and Anis Siddiqui (Pakistan), and Sagara Gallage, Maurice Winston Zilwa and Gamini Dissanayake (Sri Lanka) were the six umpires named in the sting. Shah was the only one who met the reporters in person in Delhi, while the rest carried out the interactions via Skype. Though all the umpires denied any wrongdoing on their part, their respective boards decided to suspend them pending investigations.

Richardson said although the ICC was not empowered like the police to arrest anyone, the ACSU had been strengthened recently to make it more effective and install the required mechanism to arrest corrupt elements to breach barriers.

"The plan of attack is obviously we have got an anti-corruption unit whose resources have been increased in recent times," Richardson told ESPNcricinfo in an extensive interview. "So they have got more personnel working there, they have got more money allocated to do their job, their databases have been upgraded. What has happened is because the international players are well educated now and know the risks, displacement has occurred and the bookies are now targeting domestic leagues.

"So to counter that we made sure that every full-member country has its own anti-corruption unit in place and its own anti-corruption code so that what we are doing at the international level can be mirrored at the domestic level. And in doing so we have increased the total resources available (to fight corruption)."

In the past, it has been suggested that the ICC could run an undercover operation of its own in an effort to stamp out corruption. However, Richardson defended the ACSU, saying it had acquired more teeth and was much more pro-active protecting the game, players and officials from corrupt elements.

"The strategy of the anti-corruption unit has been prevention," he said. "And this is borne out of the fact that they are not a police force. They have quite restricted investigatory powers themselves. So if that is the case, then the focus has been to try and prevent. In other words, let us gather intelligence, let us know who the crooked bookmakers are, let us keep them away from players, when they come near the players, let us warn the players from stay away. And only if they ignore the warnings then try and nail them (players).

"In a way, the criticism has been 'how come you have never caught anybody?' But actually it is bit like a good lawyer; he keeps you out of the court. He does not wait for you to get to the court and then catches you. Obviously in some case the ACSU have not prevented everything and sting operations have exposed things."

Full interview with Dave Richardson to be published on Friday, October 19.

Nagraj Gollapudi is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by Cricket_theBestGame on (October 19, 2012, 1:22 GMT)

on serious note...one way could be for ICC to demand all boards to register all domestic players and umpires and give that list to icc..so when a t20 type comp pops up somewhere and its not sanctioned by icc and local board, icc wash their hands off it and say so in public.

also any event taking place icc must approve that umpires and players are from the official list they and local board has.

Posted by sandeepgla on (October 18, 2012, 13:48 GMT)

IPL should be given official window so that every players can earn big.

Posted by imransaheb on (October 18, 2012, 13:06 GMT)

Nothing will be achieved unless they impose hefty penalties on the cricket boards.Penalising players or other such things are not going to have any effect unless the boards are also penalized substantially.

Posted by Zahid.Anwer on (October 18, 2012, 10:31 GMT)

Sixeslinc: correction please, Pakistan is the only team who are in favor of DRS right from the day it introduced..

Posted by SixesLinc on (October 18, 2012, 8:08 GMT)

So this is the real reason the subcontinental teams don't want the DRS? To protect their officials from purchased decisions!

Posted by   on (October 18, 2012, 3:40 GMT)

Technology must be available and utilize to protect the in all its forms.

Posted by   on (October 18, 2012, 3:25 GMT)

I think the only real controllable option the ICC has is to educate players/officials and impose hefty penalties on those that then proceed to violate the rules. Since they aren't a police force, their power to stop bookmakers, technically outside their umbrella of jurisdiction, is limited, and so it really makes no sense to spend any efforts in dealing with such things. Domestic T20's should have the same types of programs implemented by their local cricketing boards.

Posted by solankibhavesh on (October 18, 2012, 2:40 GMT)

Now its time to fight with corrpution not even in cricket in every field we have to do something becos corrputed people are everyware and in every field. Actually its depend of person who is concern with game like player and umpire they both have stay away form the such type of activities or person who want do such type of act. ICC has power to control fixing and spotfixing in match at any level they have to take some serious step one the path of the corrpution.

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