The International Cricket Council (ICC) proposes to take advantage of ‘cell phone data extraction technology’ to check corruption in the game. If the ICC’s legal team gives its nod to the proposal, the data in the players’ phones can be accessed by the ICC anti-corruption officials.
The Chief Executives Committee has authorised the ICC management to initiate the process of developing an amendment to the anti-corruption code to permit the use of cell phone data extraction equipment. The issue was discussed at the ICC meeting in Dubai last week.
The world body will also study the technology and liaise with all interested parties before reverting to the ICC Board with a full proposal for consideration later this year.
Corruption in the game has been a huge challenge for the administrators.
Instances of corruption
After the 2013 IPL spot-fixing scandal, South Africa’s domestic T20 league in 2016 banned four players, including former Test wicketkeeper Thami Tsolekile, for 12 years.
In the latest episode, the Pakistan Cricket Board provisionally suspended Sharjeel Khan and Khalid Latif, playing in its T20 Super League, two days ago under its anti-corruption code.
Currently, players are not allowed to use mobile phones or internet in the restricted area meant for players and match officials during international and domestic matches. However, most investigation reports suggest that corrupters try to gain access to the players in the team hotels or at private functions.
However, getting approval for the use of technology to tab mobile phones will be tough as rules vary from nation to nation.
In India, during the investigation into the 2013 IPL spot-fixing scandal by the Justice Mukul Mudgal panel, BCCI said it could face legal trouble if it labelled someone a bookie without concrete evidence. The Supreme Court-appointed Justice RM Lodha Committee was very critical on this argument in its report.
According to the Lodha report, the database of undesirable elements (bookies, fixers, etc.), though maintained by the Indian Board’s anti-corruption unit, was not shared with the players and team Officials. The players being in the dark could lead to their unwittingly dealing with shady elements.