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P
Pa
May 25, 2019

All World Cup teams to have anti-graft official

Sports

P
Pa
May 25, 2019

DUBAI: All 10 teams at the forthcoming World Cup will have a dedicated anti-corruption manager that will travel with them for the duration of the tournament.

The International Cricket Council’s (ICC) initiative to make the 12th staging of the tournament “the safest yet” also includes a hotline number and an app for players to report potential approaches. Match-fixing or spot-fixing has been an underlying problem within the sport for a number of years.

But Alex Marshall, the ICC’s Anti-Corruption Unit general manager, is convinced “corruptors” will be dissuaded by the measures put in place for the extravaganza in England and Wales.He said: “When corruptors look at the World Cup they see a very well organised, professional, well governed and well protected event. This is a very tough event for corruptors to come near. Of course they would love to, the yields would be high but our job throughout the World Cup will be to make sure they don’t get near it.”

Former Sri Lanka captain Sanath Jayasuriya was banned from the game for two years after admitting to breaching two counts of the anti-corruption code. Nuwan Zoysa and Avishka Gunawardene, both former Sri Lanka internationals, were earlier this year charged with match-fixing.

Marshall added: “The advantage we have at this World Cup is that I can guarantee everyone in every squad understands what the threat is, and what they should be looking out for, and they know how to keep themselves away from this problem.

“Over the last 18 months we have charged 14 or 15 people. None of those are current players. The people we have charged are administrators, senior administrators, board members, coaches, ex-players and an analyst. These are people on the edge of the squad, not people currently among the player group.

“In addition to the people we have charged, we have also disrupted more than 30 corruptors who are outside our code, but we nevertheless pursued them wherever they are in the world to make it hard for them to operate as corruptors anywhere near cricket.” While pinpointing and weeding out known perpetrators is important, assigning an anti-corruption manager to each individual squad at the World Cup for the first time is significant for Marshall and his team.

Marshall added: “These are my people who work all around the world and usually someone who has been working for that team over the last year anywhere, has been on tours and has a good relationship with the players and staff.

“Our real work is away from the ground, with the squads and the places they are staying. We have developed a much closer relationship with the players and having them with across the whole World Cup just perpetuates that good relationship.

“And one of the indicators that we know it is working is a big increase in the number of reports coming in from the players. The threat is active and constant, but once the players have a good awareness and are well protected and a tournament is well run and cricket itself becomes resistant, that makes it harder and harder for the corruptors and maybe they will go elsewhere.”

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