| NEW DELHI
NEW DELHI Nov 4 Cricket administrators will
have to join hands with governments and law makers across the
world if they are to stamp out corruption from the game, a
cricket historian said on Friday.
Pakistani cricketers Salman Butt, Mohammad Asif and Mohammad
Amir were jailed on Thursday for their roles in a spot-fixing
scandal, exposing the game's soft underbelly and creating a
general air of cynicism.
"It's only because they have such stringent laws in UK that
the players got jailed. Had it been in the sub-continent, they
would have got away with suspensions or probably a ban," cricket
historian Boria Majumdar told Reuters.
"Now why should a player care about suspension or even bans
if fixing part of a match earns him a fortune? But the same
player would care when he knows that if caught, he would be
"ICC (International Cricket Council) members boards need to
involve the government. Talk to the sports ministry and law
ministry and have those laws if you are serious about it.
"Cricket needs to immediately put its house in order before
its most important constituent, the fans, turn their back on the
Chief of the International Cricket Committee's (ICC)
anti-corruption wing Ronnie Flanagan was less cynical.
"I think that (corruption) is certainly not rampant in the
world of cricket... it is engaged in by a tiny number of
people," the chairman of ICC's Anti-Corruption and Security Unit
"Sadly I wouldn't say the instances we have seen brought to
justice are totally isolated either."
Flanagan insisted majority of the cricketers remain the
game's spotless role models.
"The vast, vast majority of cricketers are not only
wonderfully talented but wonderfully ethical people. It is only
a tiny proportion of people, some of whom may have a
pre-deposition to it and some who succumb to the evil advances
of other people."
Majumdar said the sport's image might have been damaged
"It's now very difficult to say how rife this problem is,"
"If a batsman blocks three successive balls in an
inconsequential match, how can you say whether he honestly could
not score or fixed that part?"
Majumdar was not convinced that a "toothless" ACSU alone can
tackle the problem.
"It took a now-defunct tabloid (News of the World) to expose
those cricketers. I would have loved to see ACSU track the
Flanagan, however, was satisfied with the role ACSU played
in the entire episode.
"People have no idea about the emphasis we put on prevention
and when we have to investigate, how my investigators work so
professionally hand in hand with policing colleagues, just as
they have done in this case," he said.
"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."
Flanagan sought greater collaboration between member boards
and even among anti-corruption agencies in other sports to root
out the problem.
"...because I certainly don't think those corrupt people,
and the evil and dangerous people behind the corrupt
people...stick to one sport," he said.
"Although there are only a tiny proportion of people, there
will always be that tiny proportion."
Flanagan said fans were welcome to share information about
any suspicious event.
"I would rather have 10 suspicious reports that turn out to
be negative than miss the one important suspicious piece of
activity that turns out to be very important in keeping the
wonderful game of ours clean."
(Editing by Pritha Sarkar; To comment on this story, email
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