IPL spurns ICC's match-fixing watchdog
The Indian Premier League has refused to enlist the International Cricket Council's anti-corruption unit despite fears the glitzy Twenty20 event could fall prey to match fixers.cricket Updated: Apr 23, 2009 15:08 IST
The Indian Premier League has refused to enlist the International Cricket Council's anti-corruption unit despite fears the glitzy Twenty20 event could fall prey to match fixers.
IPL officials declined the ICC's offer to provide personnel from its Anti-Corruption and Security Unit (ASCU) for the tournament currently underway in South Africa, an ICC spokesman told AFP on Thursday.
"The issue of anti-corruption measures was one that was brought to the attention of the organisers of the IPL by the ICC ahead of the tournament," ICC spokesman Brian Murgatroyd said.
"When this was done, the IPL opted not to take up an offer for the provision of anti-corruption services from the ICC's ACSU, and instead indicated they were prepared to put their own protocols in place."
The ASCU, headed by former London Metropolitan Police chief Sir Paul Condon, was formed in the wake of the match-fixing scandal in 2000 when the late South African captain Hansie Cronje admitted to links with Indian bookmakers.
Among the unit's duties is monitoring visitors to the players' dressing rooms at the ground and team hotels during all international matches.
During the IPL's inaugural season last year, two ASCU officials had briefed the private security agency contracted by organisers to police dressing rooms, besides delivering anti-corruption talks to some teams.
But ASCU official Niranjan Virk caused a stir when he ordered Bollywood star Shahrukh Khan, who owns the Kolkata Knight Riders team, to leave the side's dug-out at Eden Gardens because he was not authorised to be seated among the players.
Red-faced IPL officials later issued fresh guidelines which allowed a franchise owner, or his representative, to sit with the players.
The ICC's Murgatroyd, however, dismissed suggestions that Khan's ouster from the dug-out prompted the IPL to do away with ASCU officials this year.
"I would think it highly unlikely that any claimed incident with Shahrukh Khan was a reason for the IPL not employing the ACSU during this year's tournament," he said.
"The IPL is a domestic tournament and so falls under the administrative control of its parent board, in this case the Board of Control for Cricket in India, rather than the ICC, which is responsible for the control of the international game."
International players' union chief Tim May had last year warned the IPL could fall prone to match-fixing if it was not brought under the purview of the ICC watchdog.
"Any format that is more dependent on the performance of one player should represent a higher inherent risk for manipulation," the former Australian spinner said.
"The shorter the format, the higher the potential risk that a single performance can affect the overall result."
ICC general manager Dave Richardson told India's NDTV news channel last year that the governing body was concerned about possible match-fixing in the IPL.
"Let's face it, the IPL is the first domestic competition to attract such huge interest and, when it does, it's going to inevitably attract the interest of match-fixers and people like that," he said.
"Because there's so much money passing hands, inevitably the temptations are going to be there to try and get the players involved.
"You've got players who don't necessarily go through the ICC education process. And so you have young players who could be open to temptation or open to being approached by these corrupt people."
First Published: Apr 23, 2009 15:04 IST