ICC enemy of corrupt cricketers: ACSU chief

Dubai: In the backdrop of three Pakistani cricketers being jailed for spot-fixing today, the ICC`s anti-corruption unit chief Ronnie Flanagan has vowed that the world body will remain vigilant against corruption in the game.

Ronnie re-iterated ICC`s resolve for zero tolerance against corruption and said the world body will be the enemy of corrupt cricketers.

"When the ACSU was formed by Lord Condon more than ten years ago, it was created to be the friend of cricketers, it wasn`t created to be the enemy of cricketers, although I would certainly consider we would be the enemy of corrupt
cricketers," he said.

Ronnie, who had served as the British Queen`s Chief Inspector of Constabulary, before becoming ICC Anti-corruption and Security Unit chief, said corruption in cricket is not rampant but at the same time not isolated also.

"I think that (corruption) is certainly not rampant in the world of cricket. It is engaged in by a tiny number of people. Corrupt cricketers are a very tiny proportion of the cricketing world. Sadly I wouldn`t say the instances we have seen brought to justice are totally isolated either.”

"They indicate we must be ever vigilant, they indicate that the hard work and the wonderful platform established by Lord Condon, which we have been able to build upon, is such we must never be complacent and ever vigilant," Ronnie said in an ICC release.

He said the ACSU had worked with the British authorities in collecting evidence in the spot-fixing scandal, which today culminated to jail terms being handed by a London court to Salman Butt, Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Amir.

"There was tremendous amount of work to be done by my investigators in order to bring disciplinary charges to the Independent Disciplinary Tribunal within the ICC and to continue their work hand in glove with the detectives from Scotland Yard to present the evidence in the criminal cases as well."

"Once the revelations were brought into the public domain by the then The News of the World that very day, I had one of our team immediately on hand with Scotland Yard and dispatched two other colleagues from Dubai and they began their work immediately," Ronnie said.

"I think it has been very prominent and very important (played by ACSU). It was very painstaking work to gather that evidence, analyse that evidence and work with the ICC legal team to be in a position to properly present that evidence so these crimes, these offences can be properly dealt with," he said.

Asked if the ACSU faces constraints in investigating cases like the spot-fixing scandal, he said, "Some people may describe them as constraints, the fact we don`t have the powers of a police force, but I certainly would not be seeking the powers of the police force."

On the lessons that can be learnt from this episode, he said, "I think those lessons we have just described - the need for vigilance, the need for absolute absence of complacency, the appropriateness of what some people call zero tolerance. Although there are only a tiny proportion of people, there will always be that tiny proportion."

Ronnie expressed happiness that member Boards have also drawn up anti-corruption codes to clean up the game.

"We have the responsibility and remit for the international game, but I am absolutely delighted to see the individual Member boards now having signed up to their own anti-corruption codes and creating their own anti-corruption units."


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