Spot-fixing controversy

Fixing to be illegal in Australia in 2012

Daniel Brettig

November 4, 2011

Comments: 19 | Text size: A | A

Malcolm Speed speaks to the media announcing Steve Bucknor's removal, Melbourne, January 8, 2008
Former ICC chief executive Malcolm Speed has been at the forefront of a push towards anti-fixing legislation in Australia © Getty Images
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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

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Posted by 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..

Posted by 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.

Posted by 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.

Posted by 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.

Posted by 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.

Posted by   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....

Posted by 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.

Posted by 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

Posted by 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....

Posted by 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.

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Daniel Brettig Assistant editor Daniel Brettig had been a journalist for eight years when he joined ESPNcricinfo, but his fascination with cricket dates back to the early 1990s, when his dad helped him sneak into the family lounge room to watch the end of day-night World Series matches well past bedtime. Unapologetically passionate about indie music and the South Australian Redbacks, Daniel's chief cricketing achievement was to dismiss Wisden Almanack editor Lawrence Booth in the 2010 Ashes press match in Perth - a rare Australian victory that summer.
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