On the eve of the World Twenty20 tournament in India, cricket’s world governing body (ICC) chief executive said he was confident it would be clean of corruption.
“I am very confident that we will have a clean tournament,” said Chief Executive David Richardson in New Delhi on Monday (7 March).
Earlier ICC had revealed that its anti-corruption investigators had intervened with the Hong Kong team to avert a possible case of corruption, with one player excluded and the whole squad reminded not to have any dealings with anyone who might manipulate a game. Match-fixing was ruled out.
In the past ‘spot-fixing’ or manipulating events in play to aid betting has been identified and punished.
The governing body announced in January that Hong Kong all-rounder Irfan Ahmed had been suspended and charged with failing to disclose an approach from an individual.
Richardson identified the team by confirming a player had been suspended, and that the anti-corruption investigations concerned the same team.
The Hong Kong squad are now training in Nagpur as they get ready for the opening match of the tournament which will see them play Zimbabwe on Tuesday (March 8).
“I know that our anti-corruption unit has been working hand-in-hand with the law enforcement agencies, the police agencies in India, to make sure that any information is shared, that all the teams have been briefed as is normal for every tournament,” Richardson continued, adding that players had been briefed on how to avoid becoming involved.
“We are now finding that corruptors are now focusing on associate members, women’s teams, etc, etc. So we have got to make sure that the players from all the teams are very well educated, understand their responsibilities and will not get involved,” he said.
On Sunday (6 March) ICC anti-corruption unit head Ronnie Flanagan revealed the case in Mumbai, refusing to identify the team concerned, but confirmed there were grounds to believe one or more individuals planned to manipulate events to aid betting syndicates.
“We decided in this particular case that we would intervene immediately,” said Flanagan in Mumbai.
“We would bring together the entire squad, we would focus on individuals whom we suspected but we would remind the entire squad of all their responsibilities and I am certain that our action in this particular case did indeed avert, did indeed prevent, the intention of just one or two individuals and we have taken action in relation to those individuals and will be taking further action.”