Keep corruption probe in perspective – Richardson

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‘Unfair to speculate on fixing’ – Richardson

David Richardson, the ICC chief executive, has said the comments of Ronnie Flanagan, the head of the ACU, regarding an international team currently being under investigation for corruption need to be kept in perspective but added that much of the ACU’s work is now focused on protecting Associate and women’s teams.

On Sunday, Flanagan said the ACU had recently thwarted attempts to “manipulate” events in forthcoming matches and that investigations were ongoing.

“He said one of the teams was under investigation. I think we need to take that in perspective. We shouldn’t speculate that it involves any match-fixing or spot-fixing with any particular players or particular teams,” Richardson said in Delhi ahead of the start of the World T20. “In recent times you would have read in the media that a particular player was suspended from his country and the investigations relate to that same team.”

The one recent case made public was the suspension of Hong Kong batsman Irfan Ahmed in January for failing to report an approach. Hong Kong are in action on the opening day of the World T20 when they face Zimbabwe in the qualifying round in Nagpur.

When asked whether they saw Richardson’s comments as a direct reference to the Ahmed case, Tim Cutler, the Hong Kong Cricket CEO, told ESPNcricinfo. “Any probe would be directly related to Irfan Ahmed. I’m unable to make any further statement as it is still ongoing.”

A spokesman later said they would be seeking clarification over the comments.

Richardson believes that Full Member nations are now well protected from corruption risks and the focus needs to be on the Associate nations and the women’s game, with both starting to gain increased television exposure.

“We are now finding that the corruptors are now focused on associate members, women’s teams. So we got to make sure the players from all the teams are very well educated, understand their responsibilities and would not get involved,” he said. “Unfortunately, this is the world we are living. There are corrupt people all over the world, trying their best to get hold of players.”

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Source: ESPN Crickinfo

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