Corruption in cricket

Anti-corruption training for county overseas players

Andrew McGlashan

February 22, 2012

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Adam Voges steadied Nottinghamshire with 61, Nottinghamshire v Worcestershire, County Championship, Division One, Trent Bridge, April 27, 2011
Overseas players, such as Adam Voges, will face the same anti-corruption training as English cricketers © Getty Images

All overseas cricketers who sign up for a stint in English county cricket will be required to complete the anti-corruption training that is now mandatory for domestic players in the wake of the prison sentence handed out to the former Essex seam bowler Mervyn Westfield for spot fixing.

The Professional Cricketers' Association (PCA) is working closely with the ECB to ensure that non-English players cannot bypass the corruption course, even if their contract with a county side is a short one.

During the sentencing of Westfield at the Old Bailey last week it was alleged that Danish Kaneria, the Pakistan leg spinner, was the go-between in a deal where Westfield was given £6000 to concede a set number of runs off an over during a Pro40 match against Durham in 2009.

The PCA is already at an advanced stage in implementing online tutorials for all domestic players that must be completed before the 2012 season begins on April 5.

Details of how to ensure 100% compliance with the new regime are still being hammered out with the ECB, but the PCA is insistent that every player in county cricket should take the course.

"We want all overseas players to go through this process and we need to decide how much time they have to complete the process," Angus Porter, the PCA chief executive, said. "We are currently in discussions with the ECB about the mandatory element."

The involvement of all overseas players brings additional challenges. One part of the process that still needs to be developed is to have the course available in multi-lingual formats for players whose first language is not English, one of 11 recommendations made by the MCC's anti-corruption working party which has sent its full report to the ICC on Wednesday.

"The language point is a good one and something we don't have yet but we are very aware that it is something we need to explore," Porter said.

Despite events of recent weeks, Porter remains adamant that English cricket has the best anti-corruption systems available. "I have to say I think the level of anti-corruption training on offer to our domestic and England players is superior to anything on offer worldwide."

The MCC working party praised the ECB's decision to create an amnesty for players to report suspicions about corruption and said that other boards should follow their lead. It is an offence for a player not to report an approach but the ECB has given players until April 30 to make concerns known.

Following its January meeting in Cape Town the MCC world cricket committee produced ten recommendations for tackling corruption and an eleventh has been included on the final report submitted to the ICC asking for the ECB's approach to be mirrored worldwide.

"National Cricket Boards should follow the example of England and Wales Cricket Board in offering a short-term amnesty to any player or other person involved in cricket who, within the designated period, reports an approach or other suspicions or knowledge of illegal activity of a corrupt kind," the working party said.

Other MCC recommendations made at a meeting of their world cricket committee in Cape Town last month included lifetime bans for any captain, vice-captain or coach found guilty of fixing and the removal of minimal sentences in the ICC's anti-corruption code to allow disciplinary panels more flexibility in sentencing.

Steve Waugh, who chaired the MCC anti-corruption working party, said: "Cricket's administrators need to be bold in their actions and cannot be complacent in the fight against corruption. I have for some time advocated the idea of amnesties for players or officials so am particularly pleased to see the ECB's stance on this issue. I now hope that ICC takes on board what our committee - and what players around the world - are saying and we can stamp out corruption in the sport."

Edited by David Hopps

Andrew McGlashan is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

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Posted by Front-Foot-Lunge on (February 23, 2012, 9:29 GMT)

@the_wallster: Spot on, that is 100% correct.

Posted by ToTellUTheTruth on (February 22, 2012, 21:25 GMT)

@the_wallster ..stop picking on BCCI. Did you not notice that Indian cricketers are the richest cricketers in the world and they don't need these murky activities to fill their pockets? These measures are necessiated by those non-Indian cricketers who are basically begging for BCCI's attention and IPL contracts.

Posted by katsunn on (February 22, 2012, 20:51 GMT)

@the_wallster totally agree

Posted by pom_don on (February 22, 2012, 20:17 GMT)

If found guilty of match fixing or corruption (in any sport) including use of drugs a lifetime ban should be handed out........they know the risks!

Posted by the_wallster on (February 22, 2012, 16:15 GMT)

Once again the English cricketing authorities are way ahead of other countries in terms of running the game. This in spite of the fact that match/spot-fixing is rife in the sub-continent. Can you ever imagine the BCCI authorising such an initiative? They didn't even allow the ICC's anti-corruption unit at the IPL. Much Kudos to the PCA.

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Andrew McGlashanClose
Andrew McGlashan Assistant Editor Andrew arrived at ESPNcricinfo via Manchester and Cape Town, after finding the assistant editor at a weak moment as he watched England's batting collapse in the Newlands Test. Andrew began his cricket writing as a freelance covering Lancashire during 2004 when they were relegated in the County Championship. In fact, they were top of the table when he began reporting on them but things went dramatically downhill. He likes to let people know that he is a supporter of county cricket, a fact his colleagues will testify to and bemoan in equal quantities.
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