London: Cricket’s anti-corruption unit could be disbanded and turned into the sport’s equivalent of an Interpol service after more than a decade of failing to police fixing within the game.
The International Cricket Council’s Anti-Corruption & Security Unit is to be the first victim of the radical restructuring of the world governing body with a review into its future to begin with a meeting in London later this month.
The review has been commissioned by the new controlling forces at ICC level — India, England and Australia — and will also include Dave Richardson, the ICC’s chief executive, as patience has run out over the anti-corruption unit’s inability to bring fixers to justice.
The unit, which employs seven regional officers based around the world as well as staff in the UAE including its head Sir Ronnie Flanagan, costs the board an estimated $5.5m per year and senior officials are questioning whether it is money well spent given the fact it has not managed to land a significant conviction since it was established 14 years ago.
There is a growing opinion within the ICC that the ACSU’s methods are outdated and that allowing individual boards to set up their own investigation unit is a more effective way of policing the game because they are better able to build links with police forces within their own jurisdiction.
“What this should not be viewed as is a way of diminishing the strength of the ACSU but finessing it and refocusing it in a more effective and efficient manner,” a senior ICC official said.