The harsh reality check for cricket administrators is that they’ve never been able to control activities of corruption in the sport. They can’t stage sting operations, they can't legitimately infiltrate betting networks. All they can do is hope their anti-corruption and security unit, a body that doesn’t work actively with the government, keeps tabs on malpractices in the sport.
Despite spending hundreds of thousands of dollars to fight corruption, the ICC and BCCI have been lucky. While it was Delhi police which tapped a gangster’s phone that eventually snared the late Hansie Cronje, a British tabloid broke the spot-fixing controversy in 2010, a television channel conducted a sting operation last year that revealed rampant corruption in India’s T20 league, and now it’s the Delhi police at work again.
Cricket authorities can derive no satisfaction from these isolated prosecutions, which they themselves did not initiate.
In September 2010, ICC’s ACSU reportedly monitored activities of a leading Sri Lankan player. Nothing came of it. The unit has failed miserably.
“We have involved the ICC's Anti-corruption unit,” N Srinivasan, the BCCI president, said. “We have our own anti-corruption unit and cannot take a broad brush and tarnish everyone. We will not lose faith.”
Arjuna Ranatunga, former Sri Lanka captain and SLC chairman, is shocked that ICC allowed BCCI to form its own anti-corruption unit to monitor the T20 league.
‘Something to hide’
“My question is why BCCI didn’t allow ICC's anti-corruption unit to monitor the tournament? They surely have something to hide. When they are using ICC umpires, officials, cricketers and are blessed by the ICC, why not use their anti-corruption unit too? There’s more to it than meets the eye. ICC has to step in right now,” he told HT from Colombo.
Sir Paul Condon, former chief of ICC's ACSU, told the ICC in 2008 that “the IPL brings with it the biggest threat in terms of corruption in the game since the days of cricket in Sharjah.”
Ranatunga feels those words should have been taken seriously.