As corruption has shaken the cricket board to its foundation following the 2013 IPL spot-fixing scandal, its AntiCorruption and Security Unit’s (ACSU) focus is on educating Gen Next. However, some of those lessons raise questions about the direction of the programme.
It appears that instead of educating players to sting those who make an approach to fix, the ACSU is teaching how to literally escape them. While sleaze and sex have always been addressed, the ACSU officers have also oddly been educating them on how to escape TV stings. On Wednesday, Anshuman Upadhyay, a regional integrity manager of ACSU, held a class for Under-19, Under-23 and some Ranji players at the Ferozeshah Kotla where they were not just told about the dangers of fixing but also about the possibility of being trapped by media sting.
“Sir told us to be careful about unknown persons and how alert we should be while talking to such people as he or they may be filming us secretly. This could put us in big trouble as some IPL players were trapped in the 2012 TV sting,” an U-23 player who attended the session told HT.
In the operation he referred to, Deccan Chargers’ TP Sudhindra was caught on camera accepting money before a domestic match. As per the deal, Sudhindra, who took 40 wickets for Madhya Pradesh in the 2011-12 Ranji season, agreed to bowl a huge no-ball in the Indore cricket league. It also showed Kings XI Punjab pacer Shalabh Srivastava demanding
10 lakh to deliberately bowl a no-ball in an IPL game.
The ACSU material also included misconduct by some Pakistan players. “Today, we were shown video clips of Mohammad Amir and Mohammad Asif on how they fixed the match in England. Sir also told us how Pakistani spinner Danish Kaneria fixed for money in County cricket. It was a very good session,” a young player said.
They were also taught about the possibility of strangers trying to cultivate them by offering money, land and even women.
“He also told us about a gang of fixers trapping a Goa Ranji player by offering a woman. Later, he was blackmailed. Sir told us that women could be an easy method to corrupt us and that we should be careful when someone offers us any help in the way of cricket kit or new house. Anything could lead us to trouble,” another player said.