Outgoing anti-corruption unit chief delivers chilling warning

London: International Cricket Council`s (ICC) outgoing anti-corruption unit boss Lord Condon has said that any player thinking of accepting approaches would be entering a murky world inhabited by gangsters and murderers.

The unit is currently investigating allegations made by two unnamed England county cricketers that they were offered cash to fix the outcome of some games in this season.

"I have spoken to people who have been threatened and others who have alleged a murder and a kidnapping linked to cricket corruption. Twenty20 represents the biggest challenge to the integrity of cricket for probably 10 years. It is that heady cocktail of party atmosphere, cricket and celebrity," The News of The World quoted Condon, as saying.

"We found a year ago that some of the bad old faces who were involved in match-fixing 10 years ago were starting to reappear at grounds and hotels and wanted to get close to the players."

"My advice then and now is that cricket would only have to get complacent for a few months or a couple of tournaments for those bad days to come back again," he added.

The incidents reported supports the idea that the fixing of results, as opposed to manipulating minor aspects of matches with "spot-fixes", remains a major aim of corrupt bookmakers.

Earlier, on the eve of the first Test between England and Bangladesh at Lord`s, Bangladesh skipper Shakib Al Hasan had revealed that he was tapped by someone he believed wanted to manipulate the result of a ODI game against Ireland in 2008.

"One and possibly two of the batsmen in this team have been approached," a source close to the players said.

Other incidents of match-fixing issues include former Pakistan coach Intikhab Alam raising questions over wicket keeper Kamran Akmal`s intentions when he dropped three crucial catches and missed an important run out in the Sydney Test against Australia, which Pakistan lost despite being in a commanding position.



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