IPL 2013 news May 23, 2013

Train players in anti-corruption code, suggests franchise

Following the arrest of three players for alleged spot-fixing, an official from a franchise in the IPL has indicated that the BCCI needs to be more stringent about compliance with its anti-corruption measures, and has suggested the introduction of a mandatory certification programme in the anti-corruption code for all participants in the IPL.

Franchises believe that the "deeper issue" behind the arrest of S Sreesanth, Ajit Chandila and Ankeet Chavan, under charges of cheating, fraud and criminal breach of trust, "seems to be the lack of ongoing education of the player," according to a franchise head.

Teams believe the BCCI has not been aggressive in educating franchises and players on the anti-corruption programmes outside of the IPL. The anti-corruption education during the tournament itself appears to have been cursory, according to the official's description. "There was only a short 15-minute presentation made during the IPL workshop in Jodhpur before the tournament this year. It was not an intensive programme in any way," the official said.

According to the official, accountability from the BCCI and the franchises is the need of the hour for Indian cricket to be able to negate the dangers of corruption. "When a player gets an IPL contract, the Boards hand out 'no objection certificates'," the official said. "What does that mean really? They need to take additional responsibility. I need to have some level of assurance."

Despite the BCCI setting up its own anti-corruption wing under Ravi Sawani, the former ACSU chief, allegations of corruption involving Indian players during the IPL have surfaced for two years in a row. In 2012, the BCCI banned five domestic players after Sawani probed allegations involving spot-fixing, arising out of a sting operation carried out by India TV.

Offering a solution, the franchise official suggested the BCCI and other boards should think of certifying a player by making him attend a set number of anti-corruption programmes, which could then be included in the NOC that is mandatory when a player signs an IPL contract. "Certification programmes could be an interesting way of making players more responsible," he said.

The certification process could work in many ways, according to the official. "What is anti-corruption? Why is it here? Why are you vulnerable? A lot of players are unaware, uneducated, vulnerable to these kind of things? So you have got to be able to be educate these guys," he said. "They have to be told that you are likely to be approached by a lot of people. [In such a case] what do you look out for, what are the signals being sent and, importantly, are you aware of the implications and the punishment for committing something wrong?"

He agreed that the BCCI's ACSU could facilitate the players by supplying the study material online periodically. "There are many creative ways in which you can get the point across. It is really an awareness and orientation programme, which can be done periodically," the official said. "You can have online tutorials and then monitor the progress. When they have completed [it], you can automatically certify them."

Nagraj Gollapudi is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo