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BCCI’s anti-corruption unit is a powerless body: Mukul Mudgal

Justice Mukul Mudgal said that it is next to impossible for Board of Control for Cricket in India’s (BCCI) Anti-Corruption Unit (ACU) to stop the menace of fixing.

cricket Updated: Nov 30, 2017 08:29 IST
Khurram Habib
Khurram Habib
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Board of Control for Cricket in India,Mukul Mudgal,BCCI
Justice Mukul Mudgal’s investigation in the wake of the 2013 Indian Premier League fixing and betting scandal led to the ouster of several top BCCI officials.(HT Photo)

Justice Mukul Mudgal, whose investigation in the wake of the 2013 IPL fixing and betting scandal led to the ouster of several top BCCI officials, said the anti-corruption unit of the BCCI is powerless against bookies and match-fixers.

Threats of spot-fixing resurfaced last month ahead of an India-New Zealand ODI in Pune with a television sting operation on pitch curator Pandurang Salgaonkar, a former Maharashtra pacer, who was subsequently banned by BCCI.

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Earlier this year, the IPL was hit by allegations after a few suspected bookies were nabbed from the team hotel in Kanpur.

Speaking to Hindustan Times, Justice Mudgal, whose investigation led to the formation of Justice RM Lodha committee and ouster of several BCCI bigwigs like presidents N Srinivasan and Anurag Thakur and secretary Ajay Shirke through a Supreme Court order, said that it is next to impossible for BCCI’s Anti-Corruption Unit (ACU) to stop the menace of fixing.

Justice Mudgal said that it is not the limited number of officials but the lack of powers that makes the ACU toothless.

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“It is extremely difficult for the Anti-Corruption Unit to stop this. They cannot do anything as they don’t have the power to tap phone calls, the right of which lies with the police and they don’t have the power to nab suspects and investigate them. They need to depend entirely on the police. The only way to check fixing is to keep track of phone calls where most of these deals are struck. I’d say even the police will find it difficult. So it is impossible for ACU,” he said.

At the moment, only three members comprise the BCCI ACU and they have to deal with hundreds of matches happening across the country. They appoint local ACU officials, who are not adequately trained as they undergo only one workshop. Restrictions to Players and Match Officials Area (PMOA) are made and the pictures of only those allowed inside are put up at each entry.

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ACU chief Neeraj Kumar had told this correspondent a few days back that they are trying their best despite severe limitations. “We don’t have any power at all. But we have been making efforts which have borne fruit in local leagues like the one in Jaipur where we informed the local police and got it scrapped. We also played a role in the Kanpur IPL incident. However, we have severe limitations.”

In fact, the ACU at International Cricket Council (ICC), which comprises 13 members, including the chairman, too lacks these powers. An ICC official said that educating the players remains their biggest tool.

First Published: Nov 30, 2017 08:20 IST