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SECTION 2
                                                                                                            
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ANALYSIS OF CORRUPTION IN CRICKET

61. Corruption in any aspect of life is caused by human weakness, greed and opportunity. In this section of the report I set out my analysis of when and how corruption developed in cricket. I describe the extent and causes of the problem and finally my concern that, although progress has been made, corruption still occurs.

62. At appendix B, I summarise some of the key formal inquiries into match fixing. They provide a valuable understanding of some of the chronology of corruption in cricket but none was able to provide an overview of the problem because of the understandable restrictions of the terms of reference to specific events, individuals or countries.

63. My unit is not similarly restricted and although we are relatively new we have been able to piece together a reasonably comprehensive picture of corruption in cricket. The picture that emerges is a depressing one for all genuine cricket supporters. However, this analysis also provides the opportunity to put in place a comprehensive package of reforms to meet the challenge.

The Seeds of Corruption

64. It has been suggested to me that the seeds of corruption in cricket were sown in the 1970s when county and club games in domestic tournaments, in England and other countries were allegedly fixed by teams to secure points and league positions. Players were not bribed with money but relied on mutual interest. If a match was of vital importance to one team and not to the other then an accommodation would be reached between the teams as to who would win. Similar arrangements would be made to secure bowling and batting points, if applicable. The movement of players around the world gave players from a number of countries experience of these 'friendly' fixed matches. As a result, in a number of matches the ethic of winning or losing on merit was replaced by a pragmatic arrangement to divide the points and/or agree in advance who would win.

65. There is some evidence to suggest these 'friendly' fixes took place but it is harder to prove they were the genesis of corruption for financial reasons linked to betting. My unit has received reports of episodic instances of match fixing in the early 1970's for betting purposes but so far these allegations are unsubstantiated.


The Emergence of Match Fixing and other Cricket Corruption for Betting Purposes

 

























 

66. From the late 1970s onwards a more insidious and corrosive form of fixing took hold in the game. This involved a player or players under-performing so that the result of a match or occurrences and events within a match were determined and fixed in advance. This allowed bets to be placed with a certainty or high probability of winning. If a team won or lost a match in a dramatic reversal of form and expectation, as a result of corrupt under- performance, then the winnings from betting on such a fixed event were greatly enhanced. It was also possible for a player or players to under-perform at pre-determined points in a match for betting purposes and yet still go on to win the match.

67. Betting on cricket grew in volume dramatically in the 1980s and 1990s as a result of the interaction of a number of issues.

68. In my discussions with colleagues in the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in India and with Indian Ministers they acknowledged the growth of unlawful betting on cricket in India and see resumption of international matches against Pakistan in 1978 as being a key stimulant for raising interest in betting on cricket.

69. Live television coverage of matches and the growth in the number of One Day Internationals (ODI's) created an environment in which it was possible to watch and bet on cricket almost every day of the year. The chart below gives an idea of the growth of One Day Internationals. Betting on cricket grew even more with the widespread availability of mobile phones.

 

 

70. Most of the betting was and remains outside the lawful and regulated betting industry. It is of course unlawful to bet in many countries and will remain so for religious and cultural reasons. The lawful betting industry around the world, whilst vulnerable to the bet on a fixed match, has a much stronger chance to monitor and detect these betting 'scams'. The lawful betting industry is regulated and often subject to money laundering regulations. This industry is also better placed through record keeping and analysis to detect individuals and events linked to cricket corruption.

71. It is the nature of unlawful betting that it is fragmented, secretive and long- term record keeping is anathema to those who are involved. Betting on corrupted matches flourished in this environment and the huge volume of betting hid the smaller number of bets on fixed events.

The Many Aspects of Corruption in Cricket

72. In some respects 'match fixing' is a misnomer to describe corruption in cricket. The inquiries summarised at appendix B have placed some aspects of cricket corruption in the public domain but the full range of cricket corruption transcends the limited revelations of those investigations.

73. As far as corruption on the part of players is concerned, the uninformed observer might assume this is straight-forward and involves players under- performing so that the opposing team wins and a betting coup takes place and the corrupt players are paid for their involvement. Whilst indeed this is 'match fixing' in its most serious and lucrative form, corruption in cricket has many manifestations because every single aspect of a match can be and is bet upon. As a result every aspect of a match is vulnerable to manipulation and fixing, normally through under-performance. Often these fixed and corrupt incidents within a match have little or no effect on the final outcome of the game and consequently are harder to detect. Nevertheless, the betting coup takes place and the corrupt participants receive payment for the part they have played. For ease of reference I tend to call this phenomenon 'occurrence fixing'.

74. My unit has received allegations from a number of different sources of the following being pre arranged or fixed in order to allow a betting coup to take place.

  • The outcome of the toss at the beginning of a match

  • The end from which the fielding captain will elect to bowl

  • A set number of wides, or no balls occurring in a designated over

  • Players being placed in unfamiliar fielding positions

  • Individual batsmen scoring fewer runs than their opposite numbers who batted first

  • Batsmen being out at a specific point in their innings

  • The total runs at which a batting captain will declare

  • The timing of a declaration

  • The total runs scored in a particular innings and particularly the total in the first innings of a One Day International

    75. Several umpires interviewed by my unit have received approaches in dubious circumstances. With the benefit of hindsight, some umpires have realised that what they thought at the time to be an innocuous approach was actually the start of an attempt to corrupt them. Whilst allegations in respect of umpires focus largely on their favouring one team over another in their decisions, other aspects of their behaviour are sought to be fixed for betting purposes. Bizarre though it may seem, it is not uncommon for bets to be placed on the end at which a particular umpire will stand at the start of play. In a way betting on 'either/or' situations in cricket is equivalent to a red or black, odds or evens bet at roulette.

    76. Allegations of groundsmen preparing pitches to suit home teams have been made for many years. Indeed players and others regard this as a legitimate hazard when touring. More contentious, however, is the practice of groundsmen, on payment from bookmakers, preparing pitches that will ensure a result. This is alleged to have happened after a succession of draws in a test series. Equally serious are the allegations that groundsmen have been bribed to interfere with a pitch overnight to assist a team for betting purposes.

    77. Whilst corruption at the playing level is now well documented, equally serious allegations are emerging about individuals involved past and present in the administration of cricket. It is too early to form judgments about these allegations and the picture is confused by internecine struggles within individual countries for control of cricket. Also personal rivalries have undoubtedly led to smear campaigns. Nevertheless, the sums of money now coming into cricket centrally through the International Cricket Council and those generated by individual boards are large by any standards. The current corporate governance arrangements within cricket are inadequate for the task. Investigations will continue into alleged corruption in television rights contracts and related issues.

    Drug Abuse

    78. My unit has received a number of allegations from different sources and locations in the world about the unlawful use of performance enhancing drugs or recreational use of unlawful drugs by players past and present. We have also received allegations about baggage and equipment on tours being used to facilitate the movement of unlawful drugs. Most of these allegations have been dismissed or they cannot be substantiated. This leaves a small number of allegations from people who have been shown to be knowledgeable and reliable in respect of other aspects of malpractice in cricket. This should provide a further wake up call to the ICC to ensure it monitors the potential for drug abuse in cricket.

    Why Has Corruption Developed in Cricket?

    79. I have taken every opportunity to allow people involved in cricket to explain to me why they think corruption established such a strong foothold. Whilst the explanations and excuses have varied in emphasis they embrace some or all of the following:

  • International cricketers are paid less than top soccer players, golfers, tennis players or formula one drivers and are therefore more vulnerable to corrupt approaches.

  • During the last World Cup and other major events the cricketers received a low single figure percentage of the proceeds from the event and resent the distribution of profits elsewhere.

  • Cricketers have little say or stake in the running of the sport and limited recognition of their representative bodies, where they exist.

  • Cricketers have relatively short and uncertain playing careers, often without contracts and some seek to supplement their official earnings with money from corrupt practices.

  • Some administrators either turn a blind eye or are themselves involved in malpractice.

  • Cricketers play a high number of One Day Internationals and nothing is really at stake in terms of national pride or selection in some of these matches.

  • Cricketers can take money from potential corruptors in return for innocuous information and yet refuse to fix matches.

  • Whistleblowing and informing on malpractice was ignored or penalised rather than encouraged.

  • There was no structure in place to receive allegations about corruption.

  • Cricketers were coerced into malpractice because of threats to them and their families.

  • It was just too easy.

    80. None of these explanations and excuses, even if true, can ever begin to justify the betrayal of the game of cricket or the damage caused by the impact of corruption. However, these explanations need to be tested and examined to provide a more effective regime of prevention and detection of malpractice in the future.

    81. Variations in pay and conditions may have played a part in tempting players and others into corruption. But relatively well paid players have been drawn into corruption and relatively poor ones have resisted. Greed and opportunity are the main factors which are common in all the cases of corruption.

    82. The classic seduction of a player into corrupt behaviour followed a familiar route. The target for corruption was introduced to the corruptor by an innocent or conspiratorial third party. The corruptor sought a betting advantage through contact with the targeted player or umpire. The spectrum of outcomes from these relationships ranged from information about players, pitches, team selection and morale through to the securing of under- performance and the fixing of match results.

    83. The corrupt approach was often subtle, ambiguous and patient. The relationship would sometimes start innocently with admiration of players being used as the reason for invitations to mix socially. Corruptors have masqueraded as journalists or other professionals to gain access to players. Gifts without obligation would follow and eventually the true motivation for the relationship would emerge. The corrupt approaches would be made and either embraced or rejected.

    84. The environment in which these corrupt relationships developed is also worthy of analysis as common sense measures to prevent further malpractice flow from this exercise.

    85. I have already described the prevailing climate of silence, apathy, ignorance and fear and this culture was not conducive to dealing with the problem. Players did not want to inform on each other and there was no system to receive or process reports of improper approaches or behaviour. This environment was aggravated in many cases by an absence of security or control.

    86. Until recently, security in the broadest sense was not on the agenda. Consequently, access to players for corrupt purposes at hotels, training grounds, stadia and even team dressing rooms was effortless. The unrestricted mixing of teams, supporters, journalists and others at many of these venues, whilst understandable, provided an ideal opportunity for corrupt approaches and meetings.

    87. This relaxed regime was particularly relevant at neutral venues where none of the participating teams was on home territory or under the intense scrutiny of home fans. Corrupt practices took place under the cover of the carnival atmosphere of some of these events.

    88. The nature of the match or tournament has been an important determinant of the willingness or reluctance of people to be corrupted for betting purposes. If national pride was not really at stake then players were more susceptible to corrupt approaches.

    89. At some of these tournaments the payment regime to players and others has been vague and the total remuneration for a player could involve cash in an envelope from the organisers, gifts and payments from fans and from bookmakers and gamblers. The corruptors have exploited this relaxed regime and players and umpires through ignorance or avarice have received gifts and money which may have led to corruption.

    90. The spectre of a more sinister regime of fear and coercion has been raised to explain some aspects of cricket corruption. The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in India, has an investigation underway into the links between organised crime and cricket. My unit has met people who have made allegations about threats to their life as a result of exposing cricket corruption and I have met a number of people who were, in my opinion, genuinely frightened of the consequences if it became known they were cooperating with the Anti Corruption Unit.

    91. It is too early to make definitive statements about the involvement of criminals or organised crime but it is alleged from a number of separate sources that a major criminal had access to an individual team and wielded undue influence over team selection and performance. It is also alleged that a murder in South Africa was a contract killing as a result of a dispute between rival corruptors from other countries. The proceeds of corruption in cricket are sufficiently large to attract the attention of organised crime and corruption provides an opportunity for easy profit and simple money laundering.

    Particularly Vulnerable Matches

    92. The allegations made to the Anti Corruption Unit suggest that the corruptors are more likely to target some matches rather than others and although I have described these separately elsewhere in the report I will draw them together again to emphasise the ongoing vulnerability of certain matches:

  • Where little is at stake, other than pride. Typically the last match in a series which has already been won convincingly by a team and substantial odds are being offered against them being beaten by the weaker side

  • One Day Internationals in tournaments where one of the sides playing has either already qualified for the next stage of the tournament or already been eliminated. Hansie Cronjč called these matches 'soft matches' and others have called them by the bridge term 'dead rubber' matches. Again betting against form provides attractive odds and if the match is fixed guarantees a handsome return for the corruptors.

  • One Day International tournaments on neutral territory. We have received reports of some players treating these events with indifference and the opportunity to maximise the receipt of gifts or indulge in under- performance for betting purposes.

    Domestic Cricket

    93. An important question in assessing the extent of corruption in international cricket is whether it mirrors malpractice in the domestic leagues and tournaments within the individual countries. My primary focus and my terms of reference relate to international cricket but I have sought to understand the potential risk to domestic cricket. A case can be made that if international players are prepared to sacrifice national pride and reputation by under- performing for corrupt reasons, at international level, they will be even more likely to carry out similar activities at club level. However, the most important factor would appear to be whether there is a betting market to place bets on fixed matches and occurrences within matches. From the work undertaken by my unit there is overwhelming evidence of a significant unlawful market place for betting on all international matches, wherever they are played in the world. The evidence in relation to an unlawful betting market place for club, county, state or other matches is patchy, anecdotal and not compelling. There is no room for complacency but international cricket remains the main arena for cricket corruption.

    The Scale of the Problem and the Countries Involved

    94. At appendix B, I have summarised the inquiries and investigations into cricket corruption and elsewhere in the report I have suggested that these episodic inquiries have only revealed the tip of the iceberg. At appendix C, I have set out matches mentioned in some of these official inquiries.

    95. The scale of the problem has justifiably undermined confidence in the integrity of the game and challenged the legitimacy and ability of those who run the game nationally and internationally. Because of the often secretive nature of the corrupt arrangement we will never know the full extent of corruption in cricket. However, we do now have a much clearer idea of how, when and where much of it took place and this gives me the confidence to make a series of recommendations for reform.

    96. The challenge to combat cricket corruption is a world wide challenge. The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and the Indian Government have courageously acknowledged the role which the unlawful betting industry in India has played. In many ways the Indian betting industry has been the engine room which has powered and driven cricket corruption. The work of my unit has shown that it would be wrong to leave the analysis at this statement for we are or will be carrying out investigations which embrace most of the full member countries of the International Cricket Council. The blame for the spread of cricket corruption is a shared responsibility and must not be unfairly laid upon the Indian sub-continent.

    Corruption is Still Taking Place

    97. Despite the publicity given to the ban on Hansie Cronjč, the sentences handed out to players from Pakistan and India and the formation of the Anti Corruption Unit, there are indications that some players and others are still acting dishonestly and to the orders of bookmakers. Allegations have been made to my unit in relation to matches played in the ICC knockout tournament in Nairobi in October 2000 and more recently in relation to the New Zealand v Pakistan series in 2001. These allegations are being reviewed and full investigations will take place, if justified.

    98. I believe the blatant cases and excesses of cricket corruption have been stopped. I know from the work of the ACU that most of the preliminary approaches to players, umpires, groundsmen and others, to sound out their willingness to be drawn into corruption, have stopped. What is left is a small core of players and others who continue to manipulate the results of matches or occurrences within matches for betting purposes. They may be doing so out of greed, arrogance or because they are not being allowed to cease. Some may fear their previous corruption will be exposed if they try to stop and some may fear threats of violence if they stop. It will take some time before those who have developed a corrupt lifestyle within cricket have sufficient fear of exposure and punishment to stop.

    The Role of the International Cricket Council and the National Cricket Boards

    99. I have set out above some of the factors which help to explain why corruption developed in cricket. To conclude this section I will comment on the role of the International Cricket Council and the National Cricket Boards.

    100. With the benefit of knowledge now in the public domain, a compelling case is made that the ICC and the individual cricket boards could and should have done more to deal with the problem of corruption at an earlier stage. It is important to understand why those who have run cricket nationally and internationally failed to get to grips with the problem.

    101. Until the most recent contracts linked to the TV rights for the ICC tournaments, including the 2003 and 2007 World Cups, the ICC did not have the financial security or the collective will from the constituent boards to provide an adequate infrastructure of administration and control. Consequently, the ICC has not had and still does not have the staff or systems in place to enable the proper governance, leadership or supervision of world cricket.

    102. For almost half of its history the ICC was a loose and fragile alliance with a small central administration based at Lords, in London with limited budgets and limited powers. Naivety and no clear mandate to deal with corruption exacerbated the problem. Also the ICC staff at Lords missed opportunities to encourage more robust action to deal with the challenge. Although the Executive Board of the ICC has proposals for developing the ICC administration it does not yet provide an infrastructure to meet the financial and governance requirements of the modern game.

    103. The current President of the ICC has encouraged change and given strong support to the Anti Corruption Unit which has been fully operational since September 2000. It is disappointing but not surprising that until very recently the ICC, at the centre, was in very poor shape to respond to the disparate strands of corruption as they emerged around the world.

    104. The individual cricket boards and member countries of the ICC responded to the emerging problem of corruption with a patchwork of criminal, judicial, disciplinary and informal measures. The history of these investigations is set out at appendix B. No single inquiry had the jurisdiction to investigate beyond its own country, players and officials. Nevertheless, a disturbing picture gradually emerged of the extent of corruption and opportunities were missed to share information and concerns.

    105. Firm action has been taken in some cases. However, the resolute action by some has been diluted by others who have procrastinated and missed opportunities to deal with the problem. National pride and embarrassment have certainly hindered a more collaborative and coordinated approach to dealing with the problem. In some cases the perception is given that allegedly corrupt players have been tolerated because of their importance to national sides. This ambivalence to facing up to the challenge of corruption remains a real threat to the integrity of the effort to clean up the game.

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