Spot-fixing controversy November 4, 2011

Fixing to be illegal in Australia in 2012

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Fixing matches or elements within them will be illegal in Australia in 2012, perhaps as soon as March, as the federal and state governments push ahead with specialised legislation.

The legislation, which is set to include penalties of up to 10 years' jail for those found to be involved in match-fixing, was encouraged and informed by cricket administrators, via the Coalition of Major Participation and Professional Sports (COMPPS), following the game's long and pained history of shady dealings between players and illegal bookmakers.

State attorneys-general are scheduled to meet in Hobart later this month to discuss the legislation, which was agreed to by the federal and state sports ministers at a Council of Australian Governments meeting in Brisbane June. Support for the legislation on both sides of politics should hasten its speedy progress into law.

There is a desire to have the legislation, which will need to pass through each state parliament, in place by the time football seasons commence for AFL and rugby league, well in advance of Cricket Austrlaia's preference for it to be in place in time for the 2015 World Cup.

In addition to the criminal legislation, proposed measures to outlaw the manipulation of matches include the introduction of formal integrity agreements between sporting bodies and betting firms, while the federal government will oversee the formation of a national sports integrity office.

The office will be responsible for formulating integrity agreements and codes of conduct for a wide range of sports. Any electing not to co-operate will face the loss of government funding.

Pakistan's government is also considering the introduction of similar legislation, and the ICC's chief executive Haroon Lorgat has said sporting bodies needed the help of legislative oversight.

"A regulatory framework with appropriate laws to deal specifically with sports corruption is better than no legislation and is something that we would support," he said in June. "As a sporting body, our code - and our mandate - covers only players, officials and other support personnel. We are not a law-enforcement agency, so if there are ways in which nations' legislative framework can help us to maintain cricket's integrity then naturally we would encourage and support that."

Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • secondcoming on November 7, 2011, 10:46 GMT

    @bobagorof - atleast someone thinks of me as poet :).. bt on a serious note- if u r spending so money on technology then make sure it is 100% right.. but in fact.. its not! in such case why dont we continue with umpires?! why you people are obsessed with technology??? regarding ipl and stone age my comments were directed @Pras_Punter.. and no one can deny tht fact that ipl has given great platform for many international cricketers.. shane watson, shaun marsh, dav warner, raina, ashwin, jadeja and so many more.. aabt SRT - time and again Indian team has proven that they are not over dependent on SRT.. e.g. world cup final..

  • PrasPunter on November 5, 2011, 7:08 GMT

    @me54321 , I agree with you. Just because the indian board keeps rejecting things, it doesnt mean that the system is wrong. Just try and whisper the words "change , progess" etc onto their ears and they will quake in their boots.

  • me54321 on November 5, 2011, 5:07 GMT

    Not sure how the comments here descended into another drs debate, but one thing that does annoy me is the repeated claim Dravid was badly wronged because of drs in England. One time he admitted he edged it after, so it was the right decision. One time snicko confirmed there was an edge after, so it was the right decision. One time he hit his shoelace and not the ball, was given out, but then chose not to review it, so there the fault lies with the on field umpire and Dravid himself. Just because lots of people keep saying one thing, the facts shouldn't suddenly change to make them right.

  • Dev_Anand on November 4, 2011, 22:22 GMT

    @bobagorof: I agree with you that the best available system should be used, but it should be consistent for all teams. If you had followed the Ind vs Eng series, there were decisions that went against Dravid although technology proved otherwise. I am not saying that wit would have made a difference in the series, but in a close series it does matter. I am sure which country you are from, but if in spite of using UDRS, your team gets the wrong decisions, what yould you say.

  • PaksGrt on November 4, 2011, 20:20 GMT

    @Secondcoming, I agree with Boba. What a lame excuse you have for not using UDRS because it's not 100%, I guess we should stop using Umpires too because they are also not 100%. Secondly I love when Indians say how they dominate the Cricketing World. When the reality is the exact opposite. you guys don't even have a winning record as a whole. you have lost 516 games and won 514. If you call that domination then clearly you don't know the definition of domination. Teams that dominate don't get white washed away from home. Your Team India is noting but Tigers at home, that's why you even won the World Cup. Only thing Indian Team dominates is making money and IPL. So please in future don't use the word Domination and Indian Cricket in the same sentence.

  • on November 4, 2011, 15:59 GMT

    @Pras .. buddy you guys embrace changes coz u guys got no more options ... India stick to their stand coz they can ... Its just few countries can't accept that India is too strong to go against rite now... few countries (I wonder which) should learn to live with this fact....

  • bobagorof on November 4, 2011, 14:26 GMT

    @secondcoming: Sorry, the way you structured your post made it a bit difficult for me to understand.. are you supporting the argument that umpires are also not 100% error free, so that should not be used as a reason to not use technology? I've always been of the opinion that we should have the best system available - so it doesn't matter whether technology is 100% error free, as long as it is better than umpires alone. I'm not really sure what your argument about IPL and the stone age is - players making loads of money in an Indian domestic competition doesn't really benefit the game (just the individual players, many of whom were already well-paid). There's no push for reform or improved governance or on-field standards. As for India dominating, I do hope they'll continue to have a strong team, particularly after SRT retires. It would be sad if they slipped back down the ratings after such a long fight to get there.

  • Navdeep14 on November 4, 2011, 13:24 GMT

    @Pras_Punter : Yeah your modern country let go Warne from different scandals and even he and Waugh was let off after taking money from bookies while stoneage board banned his ex captain and highest run scorer of one dayers at that time and Jadeja who were another good batsman and fielder . Yeah this example explains who is really serious on match fixing issue

  • GlobalCricketLover on November 4, 2011, 13:16 GMT

    @Smithie, you can be sure that even if all the 8 other test countries support this Ind and Pak will never let it happen. If this change comes through their entire boardroom officials would be found in jail, and I am not sure if that is something they like to see happen ;) ! I an Indian btw....

  • Gizza on November 4, 2011, 11:34 GMT

    Good to see but one has to ask, why isn't it illegal already? Shouldn't it be illegal for at least the last ten years in all major cricket countries considering that last major controversies with Cronje and Azharuddin happening around 1999-2001? Better late than never but still at least 10 years too late.

  • secondcoming on November 7, 2011, 10:46 GMT

    @bobagorof - atleast someone thinks of me as poet :).. bt on a serious note- if u r spending so money on technology then make sure it is 100% right.. but in fact.. its not! in such case why dont we continue with umpires?! why you people are obsessed with technology??? regarding ipl and stone age my comments were directed @Pras_Punter.. and no one can deny tht fact that ipl has given great platform for many international cricketers.. shane watson, shaun marsh, dav warner, raina, ashwin, jadeja and so many more.. aabt SRT - time and again Indian team has proven that they are not over dependent on SRT.. e.g. world cup final..

  • PrasPunter on November 5, 2011, 7:08 GMT

    @me54321 , I agree with you. Just because the indian board keeps rejecting things, it doesnt mean that the system is wrong. Just try and whisper the words "change , progess" etc onto their ears and they will quake in their boots.

  • me54321 on November 5, 2011, 5:07 GMT

    Not sure how the comments here descended into another drs debate, but one thing that does annoy me is the repeated claim Dravid was badly wronged because of drs in England. One time he admitted he edged it after, so it was the right decision. One time snicko confirmed there was an edge after, so it was the right decision. One time he hit his shoelace and not the ball, was given out, but then chose not to review it, so there the fault lies with the on field umpire and Dravid himself. Just because lots of people keep saying one thing, the facts shouldn't suddenly change to make them right.

  • Dev_Anand on November 4, 2011, 22:22 GMT

    @bobagorof: I agree with you that the best available system should be used, but it should be consistent for all teams. If you had followed the Ind vs Eng series, there were decisions that went against Dravid although technology proved otherwise. I am not saying that wit would have made a difference in the series, but in a close series it does matter. I am sure which country you are from, but if in spite of using UDRS, your team gets the wrong decisions, what yould you say.

  • PaksGrt on November 4, 2011, 20:20 GMT

    @Secondcoming, I agree with Boba. What a lame excuse you have for not using UDRS because it's not 100%, I guess we should stop using Umpires too because they are also not 100%. Secondly I love when Indians say how they dominate the Cricketing World. When the reality is the exact opposite. you guys don't even have a winning record as a whole. you have lost 516 games and won 514. If you call that domination then clearly you don't know the definition of domination. Teams that dominate don't get white washed away from home. Your Team India is noting but Tigers at home, that's why you even won the World Cup. Only thing Indian Team dominates is making money and IPL. So please in future don't use the word Domination and Indian Cricket in the same sentence.

  • on November 4, 2011, 15:59 GMT

    @Pras .. buddy you guys embrace changes coz u guys got no more options ... India stick to their stand coz they can ... Its just few countries can't accept that India is too strong to go against rite now... few countries (I wonder which) should learn to live with this fact....

  • bobagorof on November 4, 2011, 14:26 GMT

    @secondcoming: Sorry, the way you structured your post made it a bit difficult for me to understand.. are you supporting the argument that umpires are also not 100% error free, so that should not be used as a reason to not use technology? I've always been of the opinion that we should have the best system available - so it doesn't matter whether technology is 100% error free, as long as it is better than umpires alone. I'm not really sure what your argument about IPL and the stone age is - players making loads of money in an Indian domestic competition doesn't really benefit the game (just the individual players, many of whom were already well-paid). There's no push for reform or improved governance or on-field standards. As for India dominating, I do hope they'll continue to have a strong team, particularly after SRT retires. It would be sad if they slipped back down the ratings after such a long fight to get there.

  • Navdeep14 on November 4, 2011, 13:24 GMT

    @Pras_Punter : Yeah your modern country let go Warne from different scandals and even he and Waugh was let off after taking money from bookies while stoneage board banned his ex captain and highest run scorer of one dayers at that time and Jadeja who were another good batsman and fielder . Yeah this example explains who is really serious on match fixing issue

  • GlobalCricketLover on November 4, 2011, 13:16 GMT

    @Smithie, you can be sure that even if all the 8 other test countries support this Ind and Pak will never let it happen. If this change comes through their entire boardroom officials would be found in jail, and I am not sure if that is something they like to see happen ;) ! I an Indian btw....

  • Gizza on November 4, 2011, 11:34 GMT

    Good to see but one has to ask, why isn't it illegal already? Shouldn't it be illegal for at least the last ten years in all major cricket countries considering that last major controversies with Cronje and Azharuddin happening around 1999-2001? Better late than never but still at least 10 years too late.

  • AndyMack on November 4, 2011, 10:23 GMT

    @Sir Freddy - Aust would have the same setup as England, where the players could have been charged with a conspiracy type offence.

    What they are doing is pointing this legislation directly at sporting events, the same way they have legislation against running onto the pitch/oval/field/court in aust sport. Less potential loopholes I would imagine. Good to see.

  • on November 4, 2011, 10:23 GMT

    Thats a good sign, game must go on. Improvements would take place and they are for the betterness of the game itself. We must make sure that this policy didnt stick against few nations. its good that culprits recieve what they deserve, but we should also consider some more revelations from Majeed, like for Aussies, and indian bookies, and Indian underworld backing of it. it would save the game at large scale.

  • secondcoming on November 4, 2011, 10:19 GMT

    Well.. clearly someone need to do little research before commenting here.. If technology is not 100% error free then v should pursue with umpires only.. after all they are not 100% error free.. talking about stone age - just do a small research on no. of aussies players in ipl.. quite literally they live on ipl money!! No price for guessing though. and for God's sake.. leave cricket alone... we are happy with the way it is..and Dear Mate- its about time, India dominate the world now!

  • kunal83 on November 4, 2011, 10:00 GMT

    Pras I agree with you on that mate. India needs to use it's financial and political standing to cleanse the game of cricket, legalise sports betting to discourage corrupt money flowing into the sport.

  • satish619chandar on November 4, 2011, 9:34 GMT

    @Smithie : Is it limited only to BCCI? @Sir_Freddie_Flintoff : Lol.. Reading between lines ?

  • PrasPunter on November 4, 2011, 8:56 GMT

    Ours ( Aus ) is a progressive nation and hence moving forward, embracing changes ( we dont ask for a 100 % error-free technology - that is akin to asking for a plane that doesnt crash at all ) , bringing in new frameworks etc for the betterment of the game. But a few teams in the pretext of "dominating", still remain in stone age... No price for guessing though.

  • Smithie on November 4, 2011, 8:41 GMT

    Policy statement from the BCCI on the topic would be of interest to the broad cricket community. Over to you Mr Srinivasan!

  • satish619chandar on November 4, 2011, 8:36 GMT

    Thats good!! It should be applicable for all the sport.. Wish all the countries adopt the law and implement to maintain purity in the sport..

  • AJ_Tiger86 on November 4, 2011, 8:23 GMT

    So, is match-fixing legal now? No wonder they didn't do anything about the Sydney test in 2010!

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  • AJ_Tiger86 on November 4, 2011, 8:23 GMT

    So, is match-fixing legal now? No wonder they didn't do anything about the Sydney test in 2010!

  • satish619chandar on November 4, 2011, 8:36 GMT

    Thats good!! It should be applicable for all the sport.. Wish all the countries adopt the law and implement to maintain purity in the sport..

  • Smithie on November 4, 2011, 8:41 GMT

    Policy statement from the BCCI on the topic would be of interest to the broad cricket community. Over to you Mr Srinivasan!

  • PrasPunter on November 4, 2011, 8:56 GMT

    Ours ( Aus ) is a progressive nation and hence moving forward, embracing changes ( we dont ask for a 100 % error-free technology - that is akin to asking for a plane that doesnt crash at all ) , bringing in new frameworks etc for the betterment of the game. But a few teams in the pretext of "dominating", still remain in stone age... No price for guessing though.

  • satish619chandar on November 4, 2011, 9:34 GMT

    @Smithie : Is it limited only to BCCI? @Sir_Freddie_Flintoff : Lol.. Reading between lines ?

  • kunal83 on November 4, 2011, 10:00 GMT

    Pras I agree with you on that mate. India needs to use it's financial and political standing to cleanse the game of cricket, legalise sports betting to discourage corrupt money flowing into the sport.

  • secondcoming on November 4, 2011, 10:19 GMT

    Well.. clearly someone need to do little research before commenting here.. If technology is not 100% error free then v should pursue with umpires only.. after all they are not 100% error free.. talking about stone age - just do a small research on no. of aussies players in ipl.. quite literally they live on ipl money!! No price for guessing though. and for God's sake.. leave cricket alone... we are happy with the way it is..and Dear Mate- its about time, India dominate the world now!

  • on November 4, 2011, 10:23 GMT

    Thats a good sign, game must go on. Improvements would take place and they are for the betterness of the game itself. We must make sure that this policy didnt stick against few nations. its good that culprits recieve what they deserve, but we should also consider some more revelations from Majeed, like for Aussies, and indian bookies, and Indian underworld backing of it. it would save the game at large scale.

  • AndyMack on November 4, 2011, 10:23 GMT

    @Sir Freddy - Aust would have the same setup as England, where the players could have been charged with a conspiracy type offence.

    What they are doing is pointing this legislation directly at sporting events, the same way they have legislation against running onto the pitch/oval/field/court in aust sport. Less potential loopholes I would imagine. Good to see.

  • Gizza on November 4, 2011, 11:34 GMT

    Good to see but one has to ask, why isn't it illegal already? Shouldn't it be illegal for at least the last ten years in all major cricket countries considering that last major controversies with Cronje and Azharuddin happening around 1999-2001? Better late than never but still at least 10 years too late.