Match-fixing has always degraded cricket’s image in the world of sports. Be it in international matches or in the domestic circuit; match-fixing or spot-fixing scandals have surfaced from time to time. Another fact is that the majority of the cases over the years have been discovered in the sub-continent as compared to other parts of the world.
However, at present, most of the fixing cases which are being investigated by the International Cricket Council (ICC) have originated from India. As per reports, the corruptors are now targeting state leagues as well as lesser-known competitions rather than the major events like the Indian Premier League (IPL).
The coordinator of investigations of ICC Anti-Corruption Unite (ACU), Steve Richardson, claimed that 50 studies are pending related to India. Richardson mentioned that there hasn’t been any high-profile cricketer involved with these investigations as of now.
“We have 50 investigations that we are undertaking and the majority have links to corruptors in India,” said Richardson as quoted by HT.
“Of late, no high-profile Indian cricketer may have come under the lens, but the player-bookie nexus goes unabated. Players are the final link in the chain. Problem is with people who organise corruption, who pay the players; who sit outside the sport. I can deliver eight names to Indian governing agencies who are serial offenders and constantly approach the players,” he added.
Richardson stated that no significant change would happen until match-fixing is made a criminal offence in India. He gave the example of Sri Lanka cricket and said they have controlled things by coming up with match-fixing law.
“Sri Lanka was the first nation that brought a match-fixing law. For that reason, Sri Lanka cricket is better protected now. In Australia’s case, we are very proactive. At the moment, with no legislation in place in India, they are operating with one hand tied up,” Richardson added further.
Richardson articulated that India is supposed to host ICC Men’s T20 World Cup in 2021 and ICC Cricket World Cup in 2023, therefore, India needs this kind of law.
“In Australia, they can stop someone coming to their country before the tournament. India too has ICC events coming up with the T20 World Cup (2021) and the 2023 ODI World Cup. The legislation would be a game-changer,” concluded Richardson.