India must play a vital role in fighting fixing menace: Mani

Karachi: Former ICC president Ehsan Mani believes that India will have to play a "significant" role in fighting corruption in the sport and has urged the cricket boards across the globe to work in tandem with their governments to eradicate the menace.

Mani said while ICC`s role was limited on this issue, India can play a major role by making betting legal in the country.

"They (ICC) don`t have the authority to set up the sting operations in any country so the responsibility (should be) laid on the individual boards to follow up. The problem is the illegal bookies in the subcontinent -- most of them are from India and some are in Pakistan. They work in a grey area where there is no control and monitoring," he said.

"These problems will never finish until the Indian government finds a way to regulate illegal book-making.

"I have seen the ECB showing concern, asking players to come and tell them what they know after Westfield`s sentencing. I think it`s the member boards who have to step up to engage the law enforcement agencies to work with them to clean up cricket," Mani said.

Mani`s statement came close on the heels of a sting operation carried out by a British newspaper on a Delhi-based bookie, who claimed Indian bookmakers are fixing the results of England county games and international matches and they are using a Bollywood actress as a honey trap to recruit players.

The report also alleged that India`s semi-final match against Pakistan in last year`s World Cup was also rigged.

Mani said the only way to get rid of the menace was to eradicate it from the grassroot level.

"Every time it is the cricketers who are under the radar. The ones who corrupt the players are somehow never punished.”

"One was hoping that the conviction of three Pakistanis and one English cricketer would send out a strong message and frighten players, but this I think is not going to work. In the long run, it is the root-cause that has to be dealt with," the Pakistani said.


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