MCC news July 20, 2011

Strauss would take lie-detector test

Andrew Strauss has said he would be "absolutely" willing to undergo a lie-detector test, if it was decided that they were the way forward in combating corruption in the sport, after Steve Waugh underwent the process and called for figurehead players to lead the way.

Waugh would ideally like international captains to take the lead in rooting out match-fixing even though he knows polygraphs could never be made compulsory. While his proposals received support from Strauss his opposite number, MS Dhoni, was less forthcoming with a straight "no comment" and suggested that he hadn't heard of the idea when asked whether he would take a test.

Strauss added that a lot of work would need to be done to prove if lie-detectors worked - and there are many differing opinions over the accuracy of testing - but was in favour of anything that could tackle corruption. "My response is that I'm in favour of anything that helps us get to the bottom of any wrong-doing in the game," he said. "It's vitally important for cricket going forward that it's as clean as possible and can demonstrate it's as clean as possible.

"The devil is always in the detail with this sort of thing. I don't know exactly how lie detectors work and how accurate they are, but I like the idea of it. I like the idea of us getting down to the nitty-gritty and finding out if any wrong-doing has been going on and therefore making the sport cleaner as a result."

During the test that Waugh undertook in Australia he read a prepared declaration stating that he had never been involved in fixing a cricket match, or any element of a match, and it may be a template that could be followed in the future.

"I, Steve Roger Waugh, do hereby declare that during my cricketing career except for manipulating matches for purely strategic or tactical reasons I never deliberately under-performed or fixed a cricket match or a passage of play within a match or did anything other than try my hardest for any cricket team I played for.

"I never received any form of payment, either in money or as a gratuity or benefit in return for under-performing in any cricket match I have played in."

Waugh said that it was his frustration at endless questions about corruption that prompted the idea of polygraphs. "There are a lot of rumours out there about match-fixing and spot-fixing. I became sick and tired about being asked if games I played in were above board."

Andrew McGlashan is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

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