London: ICC Chief Executive Haroon Lorgat has questioned former Australian captain Steve Waugh`s claim that 56 cricketers reported illegal approaches by bookmakers to the sport`s governing body last year, saying that the figures could be wrong.
Waugh recently claimed that the number of illegal contacts reported had risen dramatically over the last two years, five in 2009 to 56 last year.
"I`m not sure where Steve gets that figure from because we do not publish any such information. In fact there`s one individual in the anti-corruption and security unit that maintains such records and he does not even know the figure himself, simply because he had not compiled it. So I`m not sure where Steve Waugh gets that figure from," Lorgat said.
Lorgat said even if Waugh`s figures are correct, the increase in number of approaches does not reflect greater corruption but only show that players are now more aware of their responsibility to report those illegal contacts.
"What I can say is that we have substantially more players coming forward and reporting approaches made to them and I think that`s a result of the education process, the awareness that we`ve created amongst all of the international players and that`s a good thing," Lorgat said.
"Who`s to say there were not as many in years gone by that were not reported? The fact is players are far more conscious today. The vast majority certainly plays the game in the right spirit and they have the integrity to play the game properly and they are coming forward and reporting such approaches so that`s a good thing."
Waugh, a member of the MCC`s World Cricket Committee, has controversially called for players to take lie-detector tests in a bid to root out corruption from cricket and wants to discuss his proposal with the ICC`s anti-corruption and Security Uunit.