The International Cricket Council (ICC) has defended the work of its Anti-Corruption and Security Unit (ACSU), despite announcing a review into how the body cracks down on fixing.
A report in Britain’s Daily Telegraph on Tuesday said the ACSU, which does not have the powers of a law-enforcement agency, would be the first ‘victim’ of the restructuring of the ICC following a shake-up of the global governing body led by the ‘Big Three’ nations of India, Australia and England.
During its 14 years in existence, the ACSU – which reportedly has an annual $5.5 million running cost – has not been directly responsible for uncovering a major case of corruption at a time when cricket has been trying to combat the threat to its integrity posed by match and spot-fixing.
Now there are suggestions that the unit will be replaced by investigation boards in individual countries as these are better able to liaise with national police forces.
However, ICC chief executive David Richards said Friday, “The suggestion that the ACSU might be failing in its duty to protect the game is entirely misplaced and inaccurate.
“It is important to emphasise that the review is only commencing, and, therefore, to draw any conclusions on the outcome of the review will be premature and detrimental to the working of such an important unit.
“The ICC ACSU remains a world leader in the fight against corruption in sport, and has done some outstanding work since its inception in 2000,” the former South Africa wicketkeeper added.
Nevertheless, Richardson said a review was needed, given the ‘risk of corruption’ changing rapidly in recent years due to the increasing number of domestic Twenty20 cricket tournaments such as the Indian Premier League.
The ACSU was set up by Lord Paul Condon, the former head of London’s Metropolitan Police, in 2000 in response to the match-fixing scandal involving Hansie Cronje, the late South Africa captain.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 10th, 2014.