Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
Cricket Australia have called on players and officials to report any instances of match-fixing or other corrupt activities by the end of next month.
If players fail to report that they have been involved in corrupt activities or been approached by a bookie before November 30, they will face the repercussions for not doing so.
“While we have a culture of reporting, we think there are still some who are not as forthcoming as we would like. We want to change that by facilitating a process for players and others to freely come forward with relevant information,” Cricket Australia’s senior manager of integrity, Iain Roy, said. “We encourage players and officials to subscribe to the message that if you see it or hear it, you should report it.
“We think this is a responsible approach to protecting the game under our jurisdiction. We need to ensure the Australian public has full faith in the integrity of the game and the way it is administered. We hope that granting a short amnesty period in relation to any previous non-reporting of relevant facts will encourage anyone with information to come forward.
“Facilitating greater sharing of information will assist us in building a more complete picture of the nature and extent of corrupt approaches that may have taken place previously.”
In addition to reporting corrupt activities, Cricket Australia have also set up a Hotline, 1300 FAIRGAME, where anything tied to corruption in cricket can be reported anonymously or by name. The Hotline will be managed by STOPline Pty Ltd. and will operate from 8am to 8pm, seven days a week. In addition to that, a website has also been created and can be found at www.cricketaustralia.stoplinereport.com.
“Not only will the Cricket Integrity Hotline provide players, coaches and officials with an additional channel to report integrity issues such as corruption or doping activities, but it will also provide the public with a simple and easy opportunity to report such integrity issues to CA,” Roy said. “We expect these two initiatives will be two further steps to ensure we maintain the integrity of our game.”
Many Australian cricketers have found it extremely difficult to come forward and publicly admit that they have been involved in corrupt activities, witnessed it or been approached by a bookie.
A perfect example of this is when all-rounder Shane Watson and wicketkeeper-batsman Brad Haddin were approached by bookies in London during the 2009 World Twenty20.
“When I read it on the internet and saw how many details were there, I felt sick,” Watson wrote in his autobiography, Watto. “I thought, ‘how the hell does that get out in so much detail? This is meant to be totally confidential’.”
However, now that players can report such incidents with guaranteed confidentiality, Australian Cricketers’ Association operations manager Graham Manou believes that more players will start to come forward.
“In the past, players have told us they’ve had some concerns about reporting questionable approaches,” Manou said. “With the Integrity Hotline, they should have confidence that information may be reported confidentially and is being treated appropriately. We believe each of these measures will build trust and therefore lead to better information sharing.”