The ICC on Friday confirmed the review of its under-fire anti-corruption unit even as it dismissed reports raising questions on the watchdog’s effectiveness in dealing with the menace of spot and match-fixing. In the wake of reports claiming Anti-Corruption and Security Unit (ACSU) will now be controlled by the sport’s big three — India, England and Australia, the ICC confirmed the development without undermining the role that ACSU has performed since its inception in 2000.
“The International Cricket Council today confirmed that a review of the sport’s collective approach in protecting against the threat of corruption, at both an international and domestic level, is to take place,” said the ICC in a statement. “This includes, but is by no means limited to, a review of the functioning of its Anti-Corruption and Security Unit (ACSU) and its inter-relationship with the domestic anti-corruption units set up by Member Boards in other countries,” the statement clarified.
ICC CEO Dave Richardson said time was right to carry out the review with the threat of corruption looming large though ACSU had performed its duties well. “The suggestion that the ACSU might be failing in its duty to protect the game is entirely misplaced and inaccurate,” said Richardson.
“Despite not having the powers of a law enforcement agency, it continues to proactively investigate and disrupt corruption threats, as well as delivering education programs and building relationships with its domestic counterparts at Member Boards, law enforcement and other sports.
“Much of this work takes place away from the public eye, for obvious reasons, but it should not be ignored or in any way undervalued,” said the former South Africa cricketer.
Richardson further said: “With the cricket landscape and the risk of corruption changing rapidly in recent years due to the increasing number of domestic Twenty20 cricket leagues, as well as the incorporation of domestic anti-corruption units by a number of Member Boards, the ICC Board considered it to be an appropriate time to carry out a review into the overall structure established to fight against the threat of corruption at all levels of the sport.
“However, it is important to emphasis 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.”
It is also being reported that the reorganised ACSU will report to the ICC chairman in place of the chief executive. N Srinivasan, who has stepped aside as BCCI boss at the orders of the country’s supreme court, will become the chairman of the revamped board in July.
In the statement, Richardson admitted that corruption was the biggest threat to the sport. “Corruption is undoubtedly the biggest threat to the sport, undermining the very values that attracts players, spectators and commercial partners, and the corrupters do not respect geographical boundaries. Accordingly, we look forward to engaging with our stakeholders to determine what more can be done in this respect, both at an international and domestic level,” he added.