International team under investigation for corruption, reveals ICC's ACU chief

Some players are making attempts to “manipulate events” in an upcoming match of an event.

International team under investigation for corruption, reveals ICC's ACU chief

New Delhi: Chairman of ICC's anti-corruption unit on Sunday dropped a bombshell when he said an international cricket team was being investigated for match-fixing.

Ronnie Flanagan said that some players were making attempts to “manipulate events” in an upcoming match of an event, reports the Times of India.

“It's difficult to talk about an ongoing case. Quite recently we had reason to believe that members of a particular team had intentions to manipulate events in a forthcoming match. It is still under investigation, but certain individuals we believe had the intention to manipulate events to facilitate betting on those events.When we come by a belief that something may happen in the future, bearing in mind that we exist to prevent corruption we decided in this particular case immediately, we would bring together the entire squad, we would focus on individuals whom we suspected but we would remind the entire squad of their responsibilities. I am certain that our action in that particular case indeed would prevent the intention of just one or two individuals,” he said.

Sir Flanagan said whenever he's asked whether it is possible to root out the menace of corruption from any game, his stock answer is "can you completely eliminate ill health".

"We can improve prevention, treatment and cure. There are always people who will try to make money through corrupt means. The young players are especially vulnerable. Sometimes these corrupters are like "Peter Pans" seeking out young players.

"They compliment them first, offer them their contact numbers, small gifts followed by some expensive gifts which may on some evenings then end up in what what we call the "honey trap", drawing them into "compromising circumstances", which they (corrupters) use later to blackmail them. We constantly educate the players and others about the methods these corrupters employ.

"We are a small unit in ICC, dealing with corruption. We are not the police force, don't have the power of the police force nor do we seek the power of the police. We have very good relationship with the police bodies of all countries where cricket is played.

"For example, in last year's ICC Cricket World Cup - which was conducted in Australia and New Zealand - we had memorandum of understanding drawn up with the Australian Federal police and New Zealand police.

"We shared intelligence with them on a daily basis.

Within the next few weeks I will be traveling to UK to sign another MoU with their national crime agency," he said, adding, "We encourage domestic units to do this."

Asked whether he supports legalisation of betting in India, as has been recommended by the Supreme Court-appointed Justice R N Lodha Committee, Sir Flanagan said it was not in the ICC's domain to suggest what should be done by a sovereign country's authorities.

"Honestly, it is not for me to suggest what a sovereign nation does, but I do say that where betting is legalised it is heavily regulated and those regulators work in close conjunction with us.

"It's not for me to suggest what a wonderful country like India should do in terms of legislation or its law, but if it decides (to legalise betting), we would be seeking close collaboration with the regulators."

(With PTI inputs)

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