The Board of Control for Cricket in India is scheduled to conduct more than 900 domestic matches this season, including seniors and age groups, alongside a series of international matches. But the Board’s Anti-Corruption and Security Unit (ACSU) has just three dedicated officers.
Amid all the investigations beginning with the 2013 IPL spot-fixing scandal, court cases and the ensuing suggestions of administrative reforms, it seems that a crackdown on corruption has been pushed to the backseat.
“It is impossible for an ACSU officer to be there for every match. We have no other option but to hire anti-corruption liaison officers (ACLO),” a senior BCCI official told HT. “Our main priority is to secure the players and match officials’ area. Except that, ACSU can’t do anything. They can’t ask players to provide their call details or any other information.”
ACSU chief and former Delhi Police Commissioner, however, Neeraj Kumar refused to comment. Dheeraj Malhotra, information manager, and Anshuman Upadhyay, regional integrity manager, are the other officers in the ASCU.
ACSU is completely dependent on state associations for ACLOs, who get Rs 25000 per Ranji match. But there are no set qualifications for the assignment. Their job include enforcing of a ban on mobile phones inside the players’ area and checking for suspicious movements around it. But without any foolproof mechanism, such measures don’t seem sufficient.
For international and IPL matches, ICC plays watchdog to keep tabs on bookies’ movements around players and team hotels. ICC has admitted that match fixers are trying to ‘groom’ young players as their future investment and under such circumstances, domestic cricketers become easy targets.
“Given our constraints, our entire emphasis is on education and building awareness among players to guard against possible approaches,” said a BCCI official.