Criminalising Match fixing in India will be the single most effective move for cricket – ICC ACU official

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With Shakib Al Hasan and Umar Akmal being banned recently for failing to report an approach by a bookie, the ghost of match fixing has returned. In fact, in Pakistan the Justice Qayyum report which led to the ban of Salim Malik and Ata Ur Rehman has come back to media discussions and the genie of corruption in cricket is here again. What has emerged is that most high profile bookies are Indians and with no criminalisation in India yet, there is very little that can be done to stop the malpractice.

A senior official of the ICC’s Anti-Corruption unit is of the opinion that if India criminalises March fixing then it will be the most effective step. “At the moment with no legislation in place, we’ll have good relations with Indian police, but they are operating with one hand tied behind their back,” ICC ACU’s coordinator of investigations, Steve Richardson, was quoted as saying by ‘ESPNcricinfo’. He added, “We will do everything we can to disrupt the corruptors. And we do, we make life very, very difficult for them as far and as much as we can to stop them from operating freely.

“But the legislation would be a game-changer in India. We have currently just under 50 investigations. The majority of those have links back to corruptors in India. So it would be the single-most-effective thing to happen in terms of protecting sport if India introduces match-fixing legislation.”

He even said he has a list of 8 Indian names who regularly approach the players and with two global tournaments coming to India in the near future this move will be a game changer. “India has got two ICC global events coming up: the T20 World Cup (in 2021) and the World Cup in 2023,” Richardson pointed out. “I could actually deliver to the Indian police or the Indian government now at least eight names of people who are what I would term serial offenders, constantly approaching players to try and get them to fix matches,” Richardson said.

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