Australia's cricketers and officials are on notice to report any instances of match-fixing or other corrupt behaviour before the end of next month, or face up to the consequences of not doing so.
In an effort to ensure that any Australian players, officials or administrators involved in corrupt or illegal activity will be brought to justice, Cricket Australia's integrity unit has set-up an amnesty period until November 30 for the reporting of any past offences under its Anti-Corruption Code.
The amnesty applies only to those who have knowledge of any questionable behaviour but did not participate in it. CA's senior manager of integrity, Iain Roy, said that while no individual is under suspicion, the governing body remained concerned that players, officials and administrators did not always feel able to confide fully in anti-corruption investigators.
"While we have a culture of reporting, we think there are still some who are not as forthcoming as we would like. We want to change that by facilitating a process for players and others to freely come forward with relevant information," Roy said. "We encourage players and officials to subscribe to the message that if you see it or hear it, you should report it.
"We think this is a responsible approach to protecting the game under our jurisdiction. We need to ensure the Australian public has full faith in the integrity of the game and the way it is administered. We hope that granting a short amnesty period in relation to any previous non-reporting of relevant facts will encourage anyone with information to come forward.
"Facilitating greater sharing of information will assist us in building a more complete picture of the nature and extent of corrupt approaches that may have taken place previously."
CA have set-up an anonymous Hotline - 1300 FAIRGAME - by which corrupt activity can be reported either anonymously or by name. The Hotline is managed independently by STOPline Pty Ltd. and will operate from 8am to 8pm, seven days a week. A website has also been set-up at www.cricketaustralia.stoplinereport.com.
"Not only will the Cricket Integrity Hotline provide players, coaches and officials with an additional channel to report integrity issues such as corruption or doping activities, but it will also provide the public with a simple and easy opportunity to report such integrity issues to CA," Roy said. "We expect these two initiatives will be two further steps to ensure we maintain the integrity of our game."
Numerous Australian players have previously expressed some unease about public revelations of corrupt or questionable approaches to players, notably those made to Shane Watson and Brad Haddin in London during the 2009 World Twenty20.
"When I read it on the internet and saw how many details were there, I felt sick," Watson wrote in his 2011 autobiography Watto. "I thought, 'how the hell does that get out in so much detail? This is meant to be totally confidential'."
However the ICC and CA anti-corruption codes both outline that it is an offence to fail to report a corrupt approach or the knowledge of one made to another signatory of the code. Graham Manou, the Australian Cricketers Association operations manager, said that the new measures were likely to bring more players forward.
"In the past, players have told us they've had some concerns about reporting questionable approaches," Manou said. "With the Integrity Hotline, they should have confidence that information may be reported confidentially and is being treated appropriately. We believe each of these measures will build trust and therefore lead to better information sharing."
Failing to report corrupt activity can result in a suspension for up to five years, a hefty fine and also the undergoing of an intensive counselling programme. The clock is now ticking.