ICC news June 20, 2014

Anti-corruption unit answers to ExCo

A review of the ICC's anti-corruption and security unit is expected to result in the game's independent watchdog reporting to the game's new recommendation committee ExCo, presently headed by the Cricket Australia chairman Wally Edwards.

The question of the ACSU's independence has swirled ever since a review of its operations was mooted last month, to be conducted by representatives of the game's "big three" ,India, England and Australia, alongside the ICC chief executive David Richardson.

While the conclusion of the review process is still some months away, ESPNcricinfo understands that the unit's line of accountability will be shifted away from ICC management and its CEO Richardson to ExCo and Edwards, who will hold the post until his CA chairmanship concludes later in 2015.

ExCo was created as part of the raft of changes ushered in by the boards of India, England and Australia earlier this year, described by its architects as "the sole recommendation committee on all constitutional, personnel, integrity, ethics, development and nominations matters".

The ACSU will also, by extension, be reporting into the executive board of the ICC, of which the currently suspended BCCI chairman N Srinivasan will himself preside over as chairman when, as is expected, all constitutional changes to the ICC are ratified at the governing body's annual conference in Melbourne next week.

Part of the conference will be a report on the ACSU's activities presented by Sir Ronnie Flanagan, the unit's chairman. Flanagan has said that the independence of the unit had to be maintained at all costs.

"What is very important, and what was important to Lord Condon when he created the ACSU [in 2000], was the independence of the body," he said last month. "So in terms of how the game is structured and all the governance arrangements, that is something we steer clear of. What we insist upon is our independence, and I am certain that in any review that independence will be maintained. I am fully confident of that."

The roles of both Flanagan and the ACSU head YP Singh are expected to be placed under scrutiny by the review. Flanagan's part-time status has also been questioned.

At the April round of ICC meetings in Dubai, a formal review into the function and functionality of the ACSU was commissioned. A proposal for the future of the ACSU was discussed at meetings surrounding the central board gatherings of the ICC and IDI (ICC Development International, the current commercial arm of the ICC). The proposal pushed for a dramatic reduction of the size of the central ACSU in favour of closer links between the anti-corruption teams of Full Member nations.

While the proposal is understood to have been met with a decidedly mixed response by representatives of several nations, the commitment to a review of the workings of the ACSU was encouraged by the widely held view that the issue of corruption in the game has changed shape considerably since the unit was set up.

At the time of its inception in 2000, under the control of the retired Commissioner of London Metropolitan Police, Lord Condon, corruption was seen as primarily an issue for international games broadcast on satellite television. However the explosion of T20, and thus the number of opportunities for matches to be illegally influenced, has encouraged boards to initiate their own units, which may now work more cohesively together.

Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. @danbrettig