Newly-emerging domestic Twenty20 competitions are the tournaments at greatest risk of corruption, feels the International Cricket Council (ICC), after new channel Al Jazeera’s claims of match-fixing.
The ICC officials are looking to meet Al Jazeera in order to explore all the material, including the unseen footage of their documentary 'Cricket's Match-Fixers', which has the names of the players involved in fixing matches.
David Richardson, the ICC's chief executive, has promised of a detailed investigation of Al Jazeera’s allegations and also admitted that new T20 leagues mushrooming all over the world are the targets of match-fixing syndicates.
"I think those leagues do provide an additional opportunity for the people that want to get involved and try and fix," Richardson told reporters in London.
He continued, "So what we need to make sure is that anyone staging a T20 domestic tournament, especially televised, that they have in place minimum standards for dealing with the problem. To make sure they have an anti-corruption code in place that is applicable to the tournament, that all the players are educated, and that we are monitoring the franchise owners, the people involved in the tournament, doing due diligence."
The Al Jazeera programme quoted a self-acknowledged fixer suggesting the ICC's own anti-corruption unit was of little concern to the major criminal gangs involved in trying to manipulate cricket.
"Well, not necessarily at ICC, but certainly in conjunction with our members. So it's going to be a case in the future that before any approval is given for these types of tournaments that happen outside the full members, they've got to show that they've either got the ICC involved in setting up an anti-corruption unit, or the tournament doesn't take place. We've got to take much sterner action in the future," said Richardson.
England captain Joe Root and Australia counterpart Tim Paine have both dismissed the Al Jazeera allegations relating to their respective teams.
Both England's Test match against India in December 2016 and Australia's match against India were subjected to fixing, according to Al Jazeera’s documentary.
"I'm always concerned if people are talking about fixing in cricket. Simply it just means we have got to do some work investigating what has come out of it, and we will, and I'm a little perturbed by any accusation that we would attempt to sweep it under the carpet or pretend that nothing has happened." said Richardson.
"We are meeting with them (Al Jazeera) in the next couple of days, so there's no reason to think we're not going to be allowed to investigate fully,” said Richardson.
"I've always thought it was really up to the players. Without the players helping, it's not as if we've got a police force of thousands operating around the world. But the good thing is they're pretty determined to root it out and make sure we keep the game clean as far as possible," Richardson concluded.
(With inputs of AFP)