Waugh backs lie detector tests to root out cricket graft

July 20th, 2011 - 3:20 pm ICT by IANS  

London, July 20 (IANS) Former Australia captain Steve Waugh has undergone a lie-detector test in his attempt to stamp out corruption in cricket.

Waugh, a member of Marylebone Cricket Club’s (MCC) cricket committee, which is meeting at Lord’s this week, had prposed the tests for cricketers and he himself went through a polygraph test to show the effectiveness of the system.

“Waugh underwent a polygraph test in April in Melbourne, supervised by one of Australia’s foremost polygraph examiners, Steven Van Aperen, a former Victoria police detective,” said MCC.

Waugh convincingly passed the test.

“As a former captain, I knew that you should never ask a player to do anything that you won’t do yourself,” Waugh said.

“It is nerve-racking to go through the process. You sit in a room and have your heart rate monitored, your blood volume monitored, your blood pressure, sweating and respiration. After a couple of hours I was quite convinced that if someone had something to hide, they would be found out during this process,” he said.

Waugh is here at Lord’s which will host the first Test of the current India-England series - which is also the 2000th Test in cricket history and the 100th between the two nations.

The MCC committee last year investigated ways that corruption might be eradicated from the game.

“England captain Andrew Strauss and his Indian counterpart Mahendra Singh Dhoni, regarded as the two most successful captains in world cricket, have the status to give the MCC campaign a kickstart and, with Waugh and the rest of the MCC cricket committee at Lord’s, they are bound to be privately lobbied to support the scheme over the coming days,” according to a report in the Gaurdian.

Waugh said captains from each country should be promoted as ambassadors and role models who pledge to educate and protect other young players.

“We are looking for ambassadors among team members to put up a hand and say that down the track they will do one of these polygraph tests to be the role model and the leader in their teams,” Waugh said.

“Record numbers of players reported last year that they had been approached by bookies. These players need mentors. The culture and values of the team come directly from the captain as well as the coach and the manager.”

Polygraph tests are inadmissible as evidence under English law.

“Legally you can’t force lie-detector tests on people and you can’t presume guilt if people refuse to take a test - it is a voluntary thing,” Waugh said. “But it is about giving the public confidence that the game is legitimate and is being played the right way.”

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