Home boards should do more to crack down on fixing: Ex-ICC Chief

Former ICC President Ehsan Mani on Monday said that reports of match-fixing should be taken seriously and home boards should do more to crack down on fixing.

Updated: March 12, 2012 21:06 IST
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New Delhi: Former ICC President Ehsan Mani on Monday said that reports of match-fixing should be taken seriously and home boards should do more to crack down on fixing.

"Ultimately the responsibility for a player is that of his board and that's where I think the boards are letting themselves down," said Mani in an exclusive chat with NDTV.

"This cancer has spread and it's spread viciously and it needs to be dealt with, and the lead for this should be coming from the home board and not from the ICC. The ICC should be there to provide the overall framework but the work should be done by the individual board," added Mani.

The game of cricket has once again come under the match-fixing cloud after a report in the 'Sunday Times' claimed that Indian bookmakers are fixing the results of England county games and international fixtures. (Also read: Match-fixing: Bookies using Bollywood honey traps to lure cricketers?)

Mani also said the ICC needs to work with law-enforcement agencies to curb match-fixing in the sport. He also suggested that legalising cricket betting could be looked at as an option to help curb fixing.

"Everyone looks at the illness and not the root cause of the illness, which are the bookies. There has been no action against the bookies. ICC should talk to these governments (countries where bookies operate) and bring some sort of control over the activities of these people.

"You cannot stab out illegal booking so how you bring it into this area where you can regulate their activities, because unless that happens it's going to be impossible to stop match-fixing," said Mani.

The Sunday Times' investigation has suggested that the bookmakers offer thousands of pounds to the players. About 44,000 pounds to batsmen for slow scoring, 50,000 pounds for bowlers who concede runs and 750,000 pounds for a player or official who can guarantee a match outcome.

The newspaper's report also alleged that corruption tainted last year's World Cup semi-final between India and Pakistan.

The fixers claimed to have recruited players from countries, including England, using a Bollywood actress as a honeytrap.

A Delhi bookmaker has told the newspaper that county cricket "is a good market" as it involves "low-profile matches and nobody monitors them. That's why good money can be made there without any hassle".

The paper has passed on all the informations it gathered from its investigation to the ICC, who said it would investigate into these "serious allegations".

"We are grateful for the information you have provided and will launch an inquiry into these serious allegations.

"Betting on cricket in the legal and illegal markets continues to grow rapidly and, with many, many millions of dollars being bet on every match, the threat of corrupters seeking to influence the game has not gone away," an ICC spokesperson said.

Just a few weeks ago former Essex bowler Mervyn Westfield became the first English cricketer to be jailed for corruption after he admitted taking money to fix a match against Durham in September 2009.

Last year, three Pakistan players - Salman Butt, Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Amir - were also jailed in Britain for 'spot-fixing' in a 2010 Test match against England.

(With Inputs from PTI)

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