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Friday, April 16, 2021

ICC set to identify kingpin of global fixing

ICC's anti-corruption unit's general manager Alex Marshall told the Telegraph Sport that a dozen bookies working in India are linked to most cases of fixing in cricket, of which there are 42 currently.

By: Express News Service | New Delhi |
Updated: March 5, 2021 7:40:44 am
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Closing in on a mastermind

A mastermind is on the verge of being outed as investigators are questioning a known fixer in Delhi, Marshall told Telegraph Sport. According to the general manager, ’10 to 12′ people working as bookies in India can be linked to most cases of fixing in cricket.

Uva league in Punjab

The Uva T20 league, shown to be played in Sri Lanka but conducted at a ground in Sawara village in Mohali, which was first reported by The Indian Express, was mentioned by Marshall to highlight how corruptors are innovating. Ravinder Dandiwal, who allegedly also fixed tennis matches across the world, was arrested by the Punjab police for a purported link to the Uva T20 League. During the pandemic, corruptors turned their attention to players whose livelihood had been affected, including those who play club-level cricket in Europe, the report said.

Name and shame policy

Known corruptors will have their name, mugshot and aliases uploaded on the ICC website, a move which will identify corruptors faster. The ICC will also use article 2.4.9, under which known bookies/fixers or others trying to make a fast buck can be termed as ‘excluded persons’. Once players are made aware of these ‘excluded persons’, they must steer clear of them.

Burner phones

Marshall compared use of the very latest technology by bookies/fixers to avoid being tracked, while to communicating and making payments, to the arms’ race during the Cold War. “There is an increase in using Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies for transferring payments,” Marshall said. He also mentions apps on which messages disappear and also burner phones (cheap phones with prepaid minutes of usage and bought without a contract) being used to avoid detection.

Fixers as ‘team owners’

Recently this paper reported that the Indian anti-corruption unit chief Ajit Singh had asked the BCCI to find a way to curb corruption in franchise-based T20 leagues being run by state associations.

Owners with no clear source of income and chargesheets filed against owners, players and coaches is what Singh had flagged. Marshall elaborated on how fixers were the real owners and that they propped up others to be the face of the team. “In franchise leagues… people put up as owners but behind the scenes secretly they (fixers) are the real owners putting in the money…”

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