MCC wants life bans from cricket for corruption

 

The MCC world cricket committee have called for life bans to be introduced as a top-end punishment for corruption in cricket.

Headed by former Australia captain Steve Waugh, the MCC's anti-corruption working party have submitted 10 recommendations to be put to the International Cricket Council's anti-corruption and security unit (ACSU).

As well as the life bans for captains, vice-captains and coaches found guilty of corruption, the list includes the possible use of "mystery shoppers" to probe players thought to be susceptible to criminality.

It was undercover reporting which uncovered the Pakistan scandal in 2010, when captain Salman Butt and bowlers Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Amir were found to have taken part in a spot-fixing plot during the tour of England.

All three were jailed and also handed long bans by the ICC. Skipper Butt was banned from cricket for 10 years, of which five years were suspended, meaning he could be back playing in September 2015, whereas under the MCC proposals his career in cricket would be already finished.

The MCC, in a statement detailing the outcome of their two-day meeting in Cape Town which concluded yesterday, said any covert operation should be "preferably directed at somebody already suspected".

The MCC recommendations also indicate polygraphs - lie detectors - may have some role to play in the probing of players under suspicion, but suggest that their use should be at the behest of those under investigation.

The MCC, which has a role as the accepted guardian of the game, also indicated dissatisfaction with the inconsistent use of cricket's decision review system (DRS).

India have refused to embrace DRS, while teams decide before matches to what extent it will enter play - resulting in variations between series, particularly with regard to hot-spot technology and the predictive element of the Hawkeye ball-tracking system.

In a statement, the MCC called for DRS to be used in the same way across all international cricket.

The MCC said: "The committee has urged the ICC to ensure uniformity on the implementation of the decision review system.

"It is wrong that there are such different playing conditions - that the DRS is not used when India play.

"It supports the ICC's efforts to maintain and improve the DRS along the lines - reviews initiated by the players - that have been established so far."

The MCC world cricket committee also said they were "unanimously disappointed with the fact that no place has been found for a World Test Championship play-off until 2017".

The committee backed experimenting with day/night Tests, and said it was "disappointed" that England's Test series with South Africa this year will consist of just three matches.

It also heard from Majid Khan, the former Pakistan captain, on security issues in his country and recommended that on the basis of his report an MCC delegation should make a visit to consider the potential for playing international cricket there in future.

Due to security fears, stemming from a terrorist attack on the touring Sri Lanka team in Lahore in 2009, Pakistan have been restricted to playing matches in other countries.

They play England in a three-match Test series in the United Arab Emirates, beginning next week.

PA

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