Australian cricketers’ body chief protests against ICC player ‘entrapment’ plan

October 21st, 2010 - 1:12 pm ICT by ANI  

Sydney, Oct. 21 (ANI): Cricketers have lost trust in the International Cricket Council (ICC) when it comes to reporting suspicious encounters, Australian players’ association boss Paul Marsh, has said, especially in the wake of a new proposal to have undercover agents, acting as bookies, approach players to see if they alert authorities.

In a strongly worded statement, Marsh said recent revelations of the identities of players who had reported approaches to the ICC had made all players wary of being exposed, potentially putting them in danger from vengeful underground figures.

The ICC has never publicly named any player who has reported an approach from a suspected bookie.

The Sydney Morning Herald quoted Marsh as saying: ‘At this stage, it’s unclear to the ACA and FICA [Federation of International Cricketers' Associations] whether the proposal is designed to focus on catching and punishing players for not reporting approaches by illegal bookmakers or catching those directly involved in match fixing. As such, we are in the process of seeking clarity from the ICC as to their intentions.”

‘If the proposal is focused on the former, then we believe the ICC needs to improve its current reporting and confidentiality processes before players should be entrapped and sanctioned for not reporting approaches,” he added.

‘The ACA has significant concerns that players who have reported approaches from illegal bookmakers in the past have been named publicly, despite this process being supposedly confidential. This has caused many of them to have concerns for their safety and well being, as well as being a distraction to their cricket. In this way, the lack of confidentiality and trust in the process is actually a disincentive to report an approach,” Marsh said.

‘If the plan is about catching match fixers, then from a principle perspective we’d be prepared to discuss any reasonable proposals with the ICC and Cricket Australia. We all share the common goal of keeping corruption out of the game. However, in saying this, we’re not convinced at this stage that a plan to effectively entrap players is either reasonable or lawful,’ he added.

The ICC has been under enormous pressure to take a strong stance against corruption since the Pakistan spot-fixing allegations surfaced on August 29.

Australian opener Shane Watson suggested corruption could be so entrenched in the game the ICC might not want to uncover its full extent for fear it could ruin cricket.

The latest proposal of undercover agents is one of many initiatives being considered by the ICC to root out corruption, but the ACA believes other recommendations should be employed first.

Marsh said there should be a greater use of player association input into exposing corruption, and the establishment of players’ associations in the three nations where they don’t exist: India, Pakistan and Zimbabwe. (ANI)

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