Cricket: ICC anti-corruption units given new powers to seize phones of suspects

ICC Anti Corruption and Security Unit Chief Sir Ronnie Flanagan. Photo / Getty
ICC Anti Corruption and Security Unit Chief Sir Ronnie Flanagan. Photo / Getty

Cricketers suspected of match fixing face having their mobile phones seized in new powers which would enable anti-corruption units to download social media communications as well as phone call data.

Currently, cricket governing body's anti-corruption units are only permitted access to billing information providing details of direct phone-to-phone contact but with more and more communications being made via social media platforms, there is growing concern vital data is being missed in the fight against fixing.

Cricket's authorities have fought a long battle against corruption in the sport with recent match-fixing revelations in South Africa's Ram Slam T20 Challenge culminating in former Test star Alviro Peterson on Saturday becoming the sixth player charged as part of a long-running investigation.

Sir Ronnie Flanagan, chairman of the ICC's anti-corruption unit, stressed yesterday cricket has 'no room for complacency' and indicated he intends to propose new measures at the next ICC board meeting early next year, after consultation with the player's union FICA, which could see top star's snapchatt and whatsapp accounts downloaded if corrupt activity is suspected.

'We have only the powers vested in us the international board gives us,' said Flanagan. 'They give us those powers after consultation with the players and I think that's absolutely right.

'For example, if we were ever to seek an extension of those powers. And it has been suggested to me, that one extension we might seek is that instead of just asking for a players billing records, might we actually, like tennis, seek the ability to take the devices and download them to see what communications had been made upon them.

'That's certainly something I would not rule out but I would contemplate it only after getting the board's approval and after consultation with the players unions.

'As the world changes and as people use different means of communicating with each other through social media, whatsapp, snapchat, we have to keep ahead of these things.'

With the evolving media world making it ever more difficult to keep track of electronic communications, Flanagan's team are also attempting to better understanding the so-called 'dark web' where organised crime gangs can interact anonymously.

The ICC is also set to sign a new information sharing agreement with the UK's National Crime Agency.

'In order to thwart the intentions of corruptors, we are constantly exploring how they attempt to communicate with players including the use of various social media networks, and indeed including what some describe as the 'dark web',' Flanagan said.

'There is no ground for complacency whatever. These corruptors have demonstrated ingenuity and demonstrated determination to keep trying to get at players and match officials who are bound by our code of conduct.'

- Daily Mail

Get the news delivered straight to your inbox

Receive the day’s news, sport and entertainment in our daily email newsletter

SIGN UP NOW

© Copyright 2017, NZME. Publishing Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production apcf05 at 26 Feb 2017 09:52:53 Processing Time: 385ms