ICC’s plan to use undercover agents irks cricketers


Melbourne : The International Cricket Council’s (ICC) plan to use undercover agents to test the loyalty of the players has come under heavy criticism with Australian players union boss Paul Marsh saying that he was not convinced the proposal was “either reasonable or lawful”.

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Marsh, chief executive of the Australian Cricketers’ Association, said that the proposed plan will not be acceptable as the ICC has dissuaded players from reporting the approaches of bookmakers due to a lack of confidentiality.

Marsh said that players still don’t trust the process by which they are meant to be reporting any contact from suspicious figures.

“I only heard about the proposed plan this morning through the media, so it’s disappointing that the ICC hasn’t consulted player associations but is talking about it publicly,” Marsh was quoted as saying by The Age.

“If the proposal is focused on (catching and punishing players for not reporting approaches by illegal bookmakers), then we believe the ICC needs to improve its current reporting and confidentiality processes before players should be entrapped and sanctioned for not reporting approaches,” he said.

“The ACA has significant concerns that players who have reported approaches from illegal bookmakers in the past have been named publicly – despite this process being supposedly confidential,” Marsh noted.

“This has caused many of them to have concerns for their safety and wellbeing, as well as being a distraction to their cricket. In this way, the lack of confidentiality and trust in the process is actually a disincentive to report an approach.”

With the proposed plan, the ICC has shown a desire to stamp out instances of spot-fixing since the exposure in a British tabloid about Pakistani fast bowlers Mohammad Asif and Mohammed Aamer and Test captain Salman Butt during the Lord’s Test against England earlier this year.