ICC advises players to be aware of bookies amid lockdown
Cricket's anti-corruption chief has told players to remain vigilant of approaches by potential fixers amid lockdown. All the major sporting events have been stalled in the wake of coronavirus pandemic. Head of the International Cricket Council's anti-corruption unit Alex Marshall reiterated that lockdown may lure the lower-paid players towards match-fixing approaches. Such players may become vulnerable to offers. Here is more.
"COVID-19 may have put a temporary stop on the playing of international and domestic cricket around the world but the corrupters are still active. As a result, our work with members, players, player associations and agents continues," Marshall told The Guardian.
Marshall stated that bookies are exploiting the social media space to approach players. "We are seeing known corrupters use this time, when players are on social media more than ever, to connect with them and try to build a relationship they can exploit at a later date," he said. He added, "We have reached out to our members and players to highlight this issue."
ECB's head of integrity James Pyemont also believes this is the right time for bookies to lock their targets. "There will always be someone to make something out of a crisis. We have to be confident we can withstand that pressure and we're confident our players will do the right thing. The time is now to show this is a robust system," James said.
Last month, Pakistani batsman Umar Akmal was reprimanded for not reporting a spot-fixing approach. His case has now been referred to the Chairman of Disciplinary Panel as Akmal snubbed a hearing in front of Anti-Corruption Tribunal. In October 2019, Bangladesh all-rounder Shakib al Hasan was also banned for two years (with one-year suspension) after he failed to report bookie approaches.