MCC stresses need to tackle corruption

 Mike Brearley, one of England's most successful cricket captains, said on Tuesday that eradicating corruption from the game was probably impossible but that was no reason to stop trying.

“There is a ruthless, insidious and dangerous underworld where a lot of money can be made by gambling on cricket. There are some very unpleasant people involved and the world's professional cricketers need to know that,” said Brearley in his capacity as chairman of the MCC's World Cricket Committee which met on Sunday and Monday in Cape Town.

Brearley said the committee had spent 90 minutes with the head of the International Cricket Council's (ICC) Anti Corruption and Security Unit, Ronnie Flanagan, discussing how corrupt bookmakers and gamblers operated. “They will devise new strategies to corrupt players so we must remain vigilant,” he said. “The committee believe the problem can be contained, but probably not eradicated.”

Fellow committee member and former South African batsman Barry Richards said: “What's the alternative to fighting the cancer? Throw our arms in the air and give up?

“Way back in my era, we used to say 'what happened?' when something unusual happened. Now we say 'what the hell's going on?' We desperately need to fight for the game's integrity.”

Among the committee's proposals were the abolition of minimum penalties for offenders and the adoption of 'Mystery Shopper' operations in which cricketers suspected of involvement with bookmakers could be set up with offers of illegal fixing and prosecuted if they accepted.

DRS needed

The committee was disappointed with India’s continuous rejection of the DRS but hoped technological flaws will be checked soon to leave BCCI with no choice but to embrace it.
“Because of the governance and because of the power of India and because of the fact that other countries, we understand, won’t willingly or easily stand up to India, we have this situation that we don’t like,” Brearley said.

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