Last year, the spot-fixing scandal in the IPL shook international cricket. Delhi and Mumbai police arrested more than 25 persons, including three players and a franchise owner. The Supreme Court, which has ordered a fresh probe, had made many adverse remarks against the IPL.
But surprisingly, the IPL corruption fails to get any mention in the International Cricket Council’s annual report for 2013-2014. Interestingly, the ICC’s Anti-Corruption and Security Unit (ACSU) has a lucrative contract with BCCI to check and detect corruption in IPL.
The report though discusses the ‘high profile’ Bangladesh Premier league match- and spot-fixing in detail. That probe led to an eight-year ban for former Bangladesh skipper Ashraful Haque.
An ICC spokesman defended the treatment in the report. “The ICC provided very similar anti-corruption cover and support to the IPL as it did to the BPL in 2013. However, the circumstances were nevertheless very different, and shouldn’t be compared,” he told HT. “The BCCI had felt able to deal with the IPL matter in accordance with the processes set out in its domestic anti-corruption code.
“The BCB had felt that the best way to manage this matter was to authorise and work closely with the ICC as it led the prosecution of this case under the BCB’s domestic anti-corruption code,” he said.
According to him, the ACSU’s contractual terms and references with BCCI were totally different from its agreement with BCB.
But this is a classic case of the game’s custodian providing a crucial service – on payment --- to a member but not being in a position to ask BCCI what it has done with the information and intelligence inputs ACSU provided during the 2013 IPL.
However, the ICC report praises its anti-corruption officers for their success in ‘high profile cases’ in the year. In the BPL, conspiracy charges were brought on against seven persons.
Plenty of inputs
The report further states that the ACSU received 472 inputs in 2013. But the ICC refused to reveal how many of them were from India. “The ICC cannot provide a breakup of these inputs,” he said. The ICC also doesn’t have data on how many intelligence inputs out of the 472 were received through dedicated information sharing channels.
“It was a collective effort between the ACSU officers and sources. ACSU provided education to India players ahead of the IPL and all ICC events, including the ICC Champions Trophy 2013, World T20 BD 2014 and ICC U19 CWC 2014,” he said.