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Cricketers' union calls for whistleblower incentives

Canberra Times logo Canberra Times 17/05/2014 Canberra Times

Cricketers implicated in match-fixing should be offered incentives, perhaps in the form of more lenient penalties, to blow the whistle on corruption, the global players' union says.

The head of the Federation of International Cricketers Associations, Paul Marsh, also was adamant the independence of the International Cricket Council's Anti Corruption and Security Unit (ACSU) must be protected as it is reviewed by the ICC and its three biggest members, India, England and Australia. 

"It's absolutely critical to have an independent anti-corruption unit," Marsh told ESPNcricinfo. "Whether it is exactly in its current form is something for people closer to it than me to judge, but I think it is critical we have an independent body investigating these issues. One because issues of corruption aren't just limited to what happens on the field with the players, and if you work on the assumption that administrators could be also subject to anti-corruption investigations you have to have an independent body doing that."  

His comments follow an incredibly detailed confession to the ICC by former New Zealand cricketer Lou Vincent, covering 12 fixed games in a three-year period including some at the 2012 Champions League in South Africa.

"We'd like to see some sort of incentive for players to report," Marsh said. "In this case you have a player who is alleged to have done certain things and appears to have admitted to certain things.

"If he is able to get some sort of leniency for taking what is a brave step not only reporting but providing information about others, then I think it's important that everyone sees there is some sort of leniency shown if a player does that. I certainly don't advocate that a player should get off free, but there's got to be some incentive there, otherwise players probably will run the gauntlet."

Meantime, London's Telegraph published details from ICC documents that suggested attempts to corrupt cricketers permeated all levels of the game.  

The paper said 2012 the report by the ACSU contains a rogue’s gallery of bookies and fixers who attempted to contact players on tours to England, during the World Twenty20 in 2009 and the 2011 World Cup in India. 

One player who was offered £57,000 to perform to order in a Test series and a five-match one-day series between Zimbabwe and Bangladesh in December 2010 was suspected of corruption by an Indian bookie simply referred to as “JS”. 

The paper said the ACSU was monitoring the activities of more than 100 individuals across the world who were “actively involved in, or closely associated with, actual or planned corruption attempts”.

In total the ACSU chased 281 lines of inquiry across the world, investigated 11 corrupt approaches to players or team officials, 124 suspicious actions, monitored the suspicious activities of 67 individuals, sifted through 74 pieces of technical data and worked through five other pieces of information related to fixing. The severely under-resourced ACSU, which had just nine officers, could not cope with the workload.

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