BCCI incapable of handling corruption cases, says Lodha panel

  • Jasvinder Sidhu, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Jan 05, 2016 07:48 IST
The Supreme Court Committee on Reforms in Cricket under Justice (retd.) RM Lodha observes the BCCI is ill-prepared to deal with betting or match/spot-fixing incidents, despite an Anti-Corruption Unit (ACU) being in place. (PTI)

The BCCI has been spending huge sums on its Anti-Corruption Unit (ACU) and training officers on how they should go about warning players of potential fixers. But the body does not seem to be functioning the way it should.

The Justice Lodha Commission report has come down heavily on the ACU for not sharing details of its database with the players and other stakeholders of the game. The Board is reluctant to circulate the list as it fears it could open itself to defamation suits.

The report reads, “A database of undesirable elements (bookies, fixers, etc,) though maintained by the BCCI-ACU is not shared with the players and team officials, with the result they remain in the dark and might deal with them unwittingly. Such non-sharing may even enable a technical defence of ignorance when such incidents surface.”

The report further observes that huge imbalance in earning was one of the reasons for corruption.

According to the report, “financial insecurity, short professional career and huge disparity in the contract money paid to different classes of players are some of the factors which tempt players towards malpractices”.

It further reads, “While reputed/glamorous players, particularly those with international exposure have huge incomes, the position of other national players, let alone fringe players, is not very rosy.”

The Commission observes that the BCCI is not capable of handling scandals involving corruption.

“Experience has shown that when a betting or match/spot-fixing incident occurs, the BCCI is ill-prepared to deal with the same. It should therefore coordinate with the state machinery so as to create a dedicated special investigation wing in the police to be activated whenever there are complaints,” the report reads.

However, the BCCI has already taken a step in this direction as president Shashank Manohar met the Maharashtra Police top bosses recently seeking help to curb corruption in cricket and even agreeing to bear the expenditure of a special wing.

The Commission also suggests an integrity unit consisting of former players of repute, committed to the cause of cricket, to act as mentors and guides, whom young players can meet on designated dates to discuss doubts, problems and grievances related to the game.

The Justice Mukul Mudgal Committee, which investigated the 2013 IPL fixing scandal, recommended that iconic players with impeccable integrity such as Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, Sourav Ganguly, VVS Laxman, Venkatesh Prasad and Anil Kumble could advise and caution various teams, in particular younger players and debutants, on the pitfalls.

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