ICC Chief David Richardson Says His Sport Is 'Battling A War Against Corruption'
Int'l Cricket Council CEO David Richardson admits that the game is "battling a war against corruption that has spread from the elite ranks down to grassroots level," according to Peter Lalor of THE AUSTRALIAN. Richardson said that revelations that umpires and even scorers could be corrupted on the subcontinent was "further proof of the magnitude of the problem." Richardson: "It is everybody now, unfortunately; everybody is susceptible -- the curators, the groundsmen. But the bottom line is, it is a bit of a war we are fighting, and our anti-corruption unit has their work cut out to make sure the players are kept away from temptation, and that we end up with a corruption-free event" (THE AUSTRALIAN, 10/19).
TARGETING DOMESTIC LEAGUES: The PTI reported that Richardson was asked how the ICC plans to tackle corruption, to which he responded: “The plan of attack is obviously we have got an anti-corruption unit [ACSU] whose resources have been increased in recent times.” Richardson said that with heightened awareness among int'l players about the perils of corruption, the bookmakers "were now targeting domestic circuit." Richardson told ESPN Cricinfo: “So they have got more personnel working there, they have got more money allocated to do their job, their databases have been upgraded. What has happened is because the international players are well educated now and know the risks, displacement has occurred, and the bookies are now targeting domestic leagues” (PTI, 10/18).
THE RISE AND FALL: The AFP reported that every major cricketing country now has its own Twenty20 tournament, "attracting new fans and lucrative sponsorship deals -- and the attention of illegal betting syndicates." As the leagues spread out, experts say that the dangers "should be clear to all." ESPN Cricinfo columnist Sharda Urgra wrote in a recent commentary, "The mushrooming of domestic T20 leagues brings in not merely sponsors, spectators and TV revenue, but also a surging interest from the betting mafia. They will not stop trying to find new footholds in the game. Protecting cricket's integrity does not only involve reacting to TV stings every few months. It is now a 24/7 undertaking" (AFP, 10/18).