Image courtesy of: The Times
The head of the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) Anti-Corruption and Security Unit (ACSU), Sir Ronnie Flanagan, has insisted that the global cricketing body did not shut down the investigation into a 2011 CB40 match between Sussex and Kent.
The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) charged former New Zealand batsman Lou Vincent and ex-Pakistan A pace bowler Naved Arif with match-fixing in relation to that match.
“That was not at all the case,” Flanagan said. “There was some correspondence between the ICC and Sussex and the ECB back then. As far as Sussex were concerned, they came to the conclusion at that early stage that this was a clean match. In fact it was through the ACSU’s work, including work with Lou Vincent, that we came to the conclusion that this match had to be re-examined and we immediately passed on the intelligence to the ECB.”
He went on to say that it was “absolutely and utterly wrong to suggest that in any sense the ICC had given clearance for that match and then a subsequent investigation proved that to be erroneous – that is not the case”.
“An initial report was examined and it wasn’t sufficient evidence to continue at that stage,” Flanagan added. “[The ICC] did not conduct an investigation at that time – we would have no remit on that individual county match, which has ECB jurisdiction. However, when we did come by intelligence towards the end of 2012, intelligence that there were wrongdoings, we immediately passed the intelligence we had to our ECB colleagues. And from that time we worked with the ECB and that joint working has led to the charges within the last 24 hours or so.”
Flanagan also revealed that there has been an increase in match-fixing intelligence over the years – from 170 in 2011, to approximately 412 in 2013 and 142 in the first three months of 2014 alone.
However, Flanagan rues the fact that the ACSU don’t have jurisdiction over domestic matches, which seems to be the prime target for match-fixing and corruption.
“The ACSU has jurisdiction only over international fixtures, or other fixtures such as premier leagues where they are contracted to do work on behalf of an individual league,” he said.
Flanagan added that the ACSU do not want to develop a ‘police force’ type of reputation in international cricket.
“We don’t seek to be a police force,” he said. “What we do seek is very close relationships with police forces, all across the world…So that when things actually become criminal matters, we can share any intelligence with formal investigative bodies in that particular country; it is very importance we keep those relationships.”