Andrew Alderson 's Opinion

Andrew Alderson is a sport writer for the Herald on Sunday.

Andrew Alderson: Five ways ICC can lessen stench of scandal

20 comments
Chris Cairns.
Chris Cairns.

The eruption of match-fixing allegations, many involving former New Zealand players, has begun to eclipse a triumphant summer for the national team.

The onus goes on the International Cricket Council to show the leadership to heal the game and enable fans to believe. Urgent action is required, with a World Cup to be co-hosted by New Zealand next February and March.

Here are five ways the ICC can do that through its independent anti-corruption and security unit (ACSU).

1 Boost ACSU staff numbers. There are only a handful of permanent employees - a blessing for those swindling the system and defrauding fans. The ICC tots up big revenue from showcase events such as the World Cup, World T20 and Champions Trophy. The ACSU needs to be an investment priority.

2 Fast-track the investigation. Let's see energy and commitment for resolving the allegations, rather than the current quagmire.

3 Interview Chris Cairns. He's been willing to involve himself in the investigation throughout.

It's time to meet that challenge, otherwise the "trial by media" will continue. As lawyer James Wilson noted on a British legal blog: "If Cairns is innocent, he has been disgracefully traduced. If Cairns is guilty, he has been denied the due process that is the right of all in a free society under the Rule of Law. Either way, his chance of receiving a fair trial with the presumption of innocence has been reduced."

4 At the risk of being hand-wringingly liberal, is an amnesty period an option?

Throwing players in jail will be cathartic for those who feel cheated by cricket's version of WWE wrestling, but it will not address the core problem - gangsters further up the illegal gambling chain dissolve into the ether once pawns are captured.

5 It's one thing to have a match-fixing hotline on dressing room walls where phones are banned.

Perhaps investigate employing anti-corruption technology like that trialled by Finnish professional football over the past year.

The so-called Players Red Button app means players can dial anonymously on their smartphone and the message goes to a security firm, which investigates it. Players do not have to identify themselves in the process.

- NZ Herald

Andrew Alderson

Andrew Alderson is a sport writer for the Herald on Sunday.

Andrew Alderson writes on sport for the Herald on Sunday. His main focuses are cricket and the Olympic disciplines. His most recent project was reporting on New Zealand sportspeople competing in Europe during the 2013 northern summer. He has attended three cricket World Cups and three Olympics.

Read more by Andrew Alderson

Have your say

We aim to have healthy debate. But we won't publish comments that abuse others. View commenting guidelines.

1200 characters left

Sort by
  • Oldest

© Copyright 2014, APN New Zealand Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production apcf04 at 01 Nov 2014 17:53:02 Processing Time: 312ms