Cricket: Flanagan rejects criticism on ICC anti-corruption body
The head of anti-corruption unit of cricket's governing body Thursday took a pot shot at the critics who believe the sleuths have not done much to stop the menace of fixing in the sport.
The International Cricket Council (ICC) and its Anti-Corruption and Security Unit (ACSU) were criticised in the wake of spot-fixing and corruption trial in London which found three Pakistan cricketers guilty of corruption.
Former Pakistan Test captain Salman Butt was sentenced for 30 months, pacemen Mohammad Asif for one year and Mohammad Aamer for six months in the judgement announced on Thursday.
The scandal, relating to delibrate no-balls bowled during the Lord's Test against England last year, was revealed in a sting operation by now defunct British tabloid News of the World -- which experts believed should have been done by the ACSU.
Sir Ronnie Flanagan said the criticism of the ICC and ACSU was unwarranted.
"I find some of the criticism very interesting and, quite frankly, it comes from very ill-informed people - people who have no idea how the ACSU within the ICC goes about its business," Flanagan said on ICC cricket world radio show.
"First of all, the point is that we have been a role model. I was recently at a corruption conference in sport in London and many other sports were stating that - the world of tennis, the world of horse racing," claimed Flanagan.
Flanagan praised the sting operation by News of the World but said a lot of work was also done by the ACSU.
"I commended the News of the World at the time for their revelations, but there was still a tremendous amount of work to be done by my investigators in order to bring disciplinary charges," said Flanagan, who took over from Sir Paul Condon last year.
"I had one of our team with Scotland Yard and two other colleagues began their work immediately. It was very painstaking work to gather that evidence, analyse that evidence and work with the ICC legal team to be in a position to properly present that evidence so these crimes, these offences can be properly dealt with."
Flanagan denied the impression that corruption was rampant in cricket.
"The vast, vast majority of cricketers are not only wonderfully talented, but wonderfully ethical people. It is only a tiny proportion of people, some of whom may have a pre-deposition to it and some who succumb to the evil advances of other people."
Flanagan urged the fans to continue following the game.
"My message to the followers of cricket is keep following, keep loving this wonderful game and don't be thinking that corruption is rampant within the game."
© 2011 AFP