- None of the current crop of international cricketers, set to compete in the upcoming ICC World Cup, is under scanner claimed governing body’s top Anti-Corruption official Alex Marshall, who expects the “safest” tournament in the history of the global meet.
For the first time ever, all 10 teams competing over the next six weeks in England and Wales will have their own dedicated anti-corruption manager, travelling with them.
“Over the last 18 months, we have charged 14 or 15 people. None of those are current players. The people we have charged are administrators, senior administrators, board members, coaches, ex-players and an analyst. These are people on the edge of the squad, not people currently among the player group,” confirmed ICC GM (ACU) Marshall during a media conference on Friday.
“In addition to the people we have charged, we have also disrupted more than 30 corruptors who are outside our code, but we nevertheless pursued them wherever they are in the world to make it hard for them to operate as corruptors anywhere near cricket,” he added.
He is confident that the corruptors will not be able to breach the protective layers around the players.
“When corruptors look at the World Cup they see a very well organised, professional, well governed and well protected event. This is a very tough event for corruptors to come near. Of course they (corruptors) would love to, the yields would be high but our job throughout the World Cup will be to make sure they don’t get near it.”
Marshall said that players have been apprised of the threat perception and the ACU wing will keep a hawk eye on the list of potential corruptors.
“The advantage we have at this World Cup is that I can guarantee everyone in every squad understands what the threat is, and what they should be looking out for, and they know how to keep themselves away from this problem,” he said.
As far as the appointments of new ACU managers for the teams are concerned, the idea is to use them to create an off-field rapport that helps in nipping in the bud, any off-field suspicious activity.
“These (managers) are my people who work all around the world and usually someone who has been working for that team over the last year anywhere, has been on tours and has a good relationship with the players and staff,” he added.
Marshall is happy that more and more players are now confident of reporting corrupt approaches to the parent body.
“We have developed a much closer relationship with the players and having them with across the whole World Cup just perpetuates that good relationship. And one of the indicators that we know it is working is a big increase in the number of reports coming in from the players.”
However he agreed that the threat of corruptors will always be there.
“The threat is active and constant, but once the players have a good awareness and are well protected and a tournament is well run and cricket itself becomes resistant, that makes it harder and harder for the corruptors and maybe they will go elsewhere.”