The Board of Control for Cricket in India’s (BCCI) anti-corruption unit (ACU) is on a high alert after a cricketer participating in the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL) in the UAE reported about a corrupt approach.
The players are abiding by the stringent BCCI rules due to the coronavirus pandemic that has greatly reduced the chances of people with dubious credentials approaching a player directly. However, the threat still looms large due to the online network of corruptors.
BCCI’s ACU chief Ajit Singh, a former DGP of Rajasthan police, has confirmed to a news agency that the player was approached. However, due to the anti-corruption protocols, the name of the player (Indian or overseas) or franchise is not revealed for confidentiality purposes.
“We are tracking him. It will take some time,” he said when asked if the alleged corruptor or “person of interest” has been nabbed.
Players are obliged to report approaches
As per cricket’s anti-corruption code, players are obliged to report to their national cricket federation any suspicious engagement made to them.
“Failing to disclose to the ACU [without unnecessary delay] full details of any approaches or invitations received by the participant to engage in corrupt conduct,” constitutes a breach of the code, as per ICC regulations.
ACU focussing on online corrupt practices
With players and support staff staying in a bio-bubble, unlike other years, the ACU is concentrating more on the possible online corrupt approaches.
Most of the players, especially the younger ones are mostly on social media platforms like Instagram and Twitter where unknown people masquerading as fans try to befriend them.
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A senior BCCI official said all the players whether overseas or Indian international, uncapped domestic players have all attended multiple anti-corruption classes.
“The best part is that the player who was approached immediately sensed that something is fishy. He had a suspicion and he immediately shared his concerns with the ACU. Every player, even those who have come from the U-19s are well aware of each and every anti-corruption protocol,” the BCCI official, privy to the development, said.
Due to health safety protocols this year, the ACU had organised its mandatory counselling sessions virtually for all the eight teams.
The BCCI has tied up with UK-based company Sportradar, which will offer its “integrity services” to prevent betting and other corrupt practices during the upcoming IPL through its Fraud Detection Services (FDS).
IPL no stranger to corruption, match-fixing
The IPL is no stranger to corruption and match-fixing since it started in 2008. A 2013 scandal caused the Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals to be suspended in 2015 for two seasons.
Bangladesh all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan was suspended last year for failing to report corrupt approaches, one of them involving the IPL.
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