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Another cricket corruption probe casts shadow over Twenty20 World Cup in India

Another cricket corruption probe casts shadow over Twenty20 World Cup in India

 A corruption probe is casting a shadow over cricket's Twenty20 World Cup in India.

The tournament starts later this week with the Black Caps taking on India in the opening game. But the sport's Anti-Corruption Unit (ACU) chairman, Sir Ronnie Flanagan, has already sounded warnings, confirming an international team is under investigation.

Flanagan said the ongoing status of the investigation prevented details being made public, but it highlighted the battle the sport was in.

"It will be very difficult for me to talk about specific details about an ongoing case, but quite recently we have a reason to believe that members of a particular team have intentions to manipulate events in forthcoming matches," Flanagan told media in Mumbai ahead of the World T20.

"This was an international team but I am not going to go into any details because it is still under our investigation."

Flanagan suggested quick work by his unit had prevented fixing happening.

"Certain individuals, we believed, had intention to manipulate events to facilitate betting on those events," Flanagan said.


"Just like police have to make these operational decisions - in terms of how long or how far you allow something to develop or when do you intervene. We decided in this particular case we would intervene immediately.

"We would focus on individuals who we suspected, but we would remind the entire squad of all their responsibilities. I am certain that our action in that particular case did indeed avert the intention of just one or two individuals, and we have taken action in relation to those individuals and we will be taking further action."

Flanagan said anti-corruption measures put in place for the T20 World Cup included the establishment of a 24-hour tournament hotline for players to report suspicious approaches.

"I am talking about two different hotlines ... there is a hotline for this tournament (ICC World T20) which is a mobile phone of one of anti-corruption officers and he has been directed that phone will be on 24-7 and that's something we did at the last World Cup (in Australia and NZ) and that's something we do at major tournaments," Flanagan said.

"In addition to that, we have a hotline that goes back to the office in Dubai. So when the tournament is over and somebody comes by some information they like to pass on, there this is the hotline they can dial on our website. We give it to all the players, support staff, officials. They carry it in wallets just like cards. Even if the office in Dubai is not manned, there would be a recorded message."

Flanagan wants a tournament remembered for the sport, not the controversies.

"There are 58 games, for men and women in the World T20 Championships which, we hope, will be an unforgettable experience. My priority is that at the end of the tournament we will be talking about cricket and the unforgettable experience and not, I hope, about corruption," Flanagan said.

"Our activity is designed to prevent corruption, to disrupt activities of those who try to corrupt the game. We engage in education programme for players, support staff, match officials ... and tell them they must report any suspicious approach made to them and that if they fail to report such approaches to them they commit an offence within the parameters of the ICC's anti-corruption code.

"Last year there were 450 reports and we take them all seriously. They range across all spectrum but we need concrete intelligence to act upon and not gossips.

"Human nature is such that it may not be possible to totally eliminate these corrupters. What we seek to do is to make cricket a very difficult environment to corrupt."

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