Corruption is not rampant insists ICC's anti-corruption head

 

Cricket has become complacent and has to
do more to combat the "massive problem" of corruption in the sport, the game's
former anti-corruption chief warned today after three Pakistan players were
jailed in London for spot-fixing.

Lord Condon, the ex-policeman who is the former head of the International Cricket Council's anti-corruption unit, said the popularity of Twenty20 cricket had become a turning point for the game.

Condon told Sky Sports News: "Cricket has got a massive ongoing problem. It's got to keep its nerve. The players have got to do more and the ICC has got to do more. National boards have got to do more.

"A small group of former cops or military guys are not going to stop corruption any more than police forces stop all crime. This has got to be a collaborative effort from the ICC, the national boards and most importantly of all the international cricketers."

Pakistan's former Test captain Salman Butt received a 30-month sentence at Southwark Crown Court today, fast bowler Mohammad Asif 12 months and Mohammad Amir six months.

Condon added: "They betrayed their national team and they betrayed cricket lovers in Pakistan and around the world.

"Sadly I'm afraid they deserved exactly what happened to them today.

"I think it gives a very loud message. I think too many people had got complacent in recent years.

"They either thought fixing had gone away completely or it was not a huge problem or that it didn't really matter. It does matter.

"It's time for everyone to stand up again and be counted. There is no room for this in cricket.

"Yes, people can make money out of cricket. Yes, lawful gambling is fine. Twenty20 is a great game but let's not lose the heart and soul of cricket and the integrity that should run through cricket like a stick of rock."

Condon's successor is Sir Ronnie Flanagan, and he insisted those involved in match-fixing are only "a tiny number" but admits the spot-fixing scandal is not an isolated case.

He said: "I think it (corruption) is certainly not rampant in the world of cricket. I think it is engaged in by a tiny number of people.

"Sadly I wouldn't say the instances we have seen brought to justice are totally isolated either. They indicate we must be ever vigilant, they indicate that the hard work and the wonderful platform established by Lord Condon, which we have been able to build upon, is such we must never be complacent and ever vigilant.

"My message to the followers of cricket is keep following, keep loving this wonderful game and don't be thinking that corruption is rampant within the game."

Former England captain Michael Vaughan hopes the jail terms will "send shock waves through the game" but that the trio should have been banned for life by the ICC. He also believes others involved in corruption in cricket still need to be identified.

Vaughan told BBC Radio 5 live: "It hits home how big a deal this has been to think three cricketers are going to be behind bars for varying lengths of time.

"I hope it sends a shock wave through the game, but I still believe there are more out there [involved in corruption] and that more can be done to catch those apart from those three."

In relation to the ICC five-year bans, Vaughan added: "They could have done it a few months ago and banned these players for life."

Pakistan Cricket Board spokesman Nadeem Sarwar said the jail terms made it "a sad day for Pakistan cricket" but that there was little sympathy in the country for the trio.

The PCB have also outlined a series of steps they are taking to combat corruption.

Sarwar said: "The conviction and sentencing of some Pakistani Test players is a sad day for Pakistan cricket.

"Instead of having pride in playing for their country, these players chose to disappoint their supporters, damage the image of their country and bring the noble game of cricket into disrepute. There is little sympathy in Pakistan for the sorry pass they have come to."

Tim May, chief executive of the Federation of International Cricketers' Associations' (FICA), expressed "mixed emotions" of sadness and satisfaction.

May said: "I have concern that the practice of spot-fixing and other types of fixing still appear to be prevalent in our game despite the millions spent by the ICC.

"There is sadness that three young cricketers will face jail time, but satisfaction that the prosecution has been able to identify corruption and deliver a loud and clear message to players of all sports, that if you are caught cheating the integrity of sport you will be prosecuted and face severe penalties."

PA

Suggested Topics
Sport
Super BowlAfter Katy Perry madness it's back to The Independent's live coverage of Super Bowl 49!
News
See what Twitter had to say about the first half of the Super Bowl
News
people
News
people
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

The super-rich now live in their own Elysium - they breathe better air, and eat better food, when they're not making beans on toast for their kids

The super-rich now live in their own Elysium

They breathe better air, eat better food, take better medicine
A generation of dropouts failed by colleges

Dropout generation failed by colleges

£800m a year wasted on students who quit courses before they graduate
Entering civilian life 'can be like going into the jungle' for returning soldiers

Homeless Veterans appeal

Entering civilian life can be like going into the jungle
Sam Taylor-Johnson: Woman on top

Sam Taylor-Johnson: Woman on top

Fifty Shades of Grey director on bringing the hit to the screen
Shazam! Story of the $1bn 'what's that song?' app

Shazam: Story of the $1bn 'what's that song?' app

As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

Mussolini tried to warn his ally of the danger of bringing the country to its knees. So should we, says Patrick Cockburn
Britain's widening poverty gap should be causing outrage at the start of the election campaign

The short stroll that should be our walk of shame

Courting the global elite has failed to benefit Britain, as the vast disparity in wealth on display in the capital shows
Homeless Veterans appeal: The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty

Homeless Veterans appeal

The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty
Prince Charles the saviour of the nation? A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king

Prince Charles the saviour of the nation?

A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king
How books can defeat Isis: Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad

How books can defeat Isis

Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad
Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

She may be in charge of minimising our risks of injury, but the chair of the Health and Safety Executive still wants children to be able to hurt themselves
The open loathing between Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu just got worse

The open loathing between Obama and Netanyahu just got worse

The Israeli PM's relationship with the Obama has always been chilly, but going over the President's head on Iran will do him no favours, says Rupert Cornwell
French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

Fury at British best restaurants survey sees French magazine produce a rival list
Star choreographer Matthew Bourne gives young carers a chance to perform at Sadler's Wells

Young carers to make dance debut

What happened when superstar choreographer Matthew Bourne encouraged 27 teenage carers to think about themselves for once?
Design Council's 70th anniversary: Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch

Design Council's 70th anniversary

Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch