Melbourne: Match-fixing may not be a threat any longer, but players are still susceptible to accepting bribes for under-performing during a particular phase of a match owing to a rise in ‘microbetting’, the International Cricket Council (ICC) has observed.
ICC’s anti-corruption chief Lord Paul Condon said that although it was less likely that players would throw a match — which required significant influence over events and multiple players — microbetting, or betting on incidents or a particular session within a match, was rampant.
“There has been a phenomenal increase in the level of betting on cricket in both the legal and illegal markets over the last 12 months,” Condon said in ICC’s yet-to-be released annual report.
“The incidents covered by microbetting, including session betting, will often have little impact on the outcome of a match,” he was quoted as saying in a local daily on Sunday.
“Against this backdrop, the risk of a player accepting substantial sums to under-perform during a particular phase of a match cannot be ignored.”
Following ICC’s observation, Australia’s 25 contracted players will be subjected to a new education programme, warning of the risks of corruption.
Condon said the ICC education programme would apply to all international players and officials.
“This lesson has been tailored to re-emphasise the threat of corruption and highlight the means by which potential corrupters will seek to influence players and match officials,” he said.
A Cricket Australia spokesman confirmed the players would have two days of education and lectures at their pre-season camp outside Brisbane this month.
“It will be one of the headings covered as part of the education process at the camp,” he was quoted as saying in the daily.
The ICC is apprehensive that the 2007 World Cup may be a target for illegal bookmakers, much as the last edition in South Africa in 2003 when it was estimated that Indian bookies took more than $1 billion in bets.
Former South Africa captain Hansie Cronje was one of the biggest casualties of the infamous match-fixing scandal in year 2000.
The once-iconic South African later died in a plane crash in June 1, 2002. (PTI)