Calcutta: Under-the-scanner Marlon Samuels has passed off the happenings of the past month as a “distraction,” but he won’t feel too good on learning that the probe into his alleged links with a bookie is (as of now) going to continue during the World Cup.
“It’s our policy not to comment on matters concerning the Anti-Corruption and Security Unit (ACSU)… However, nothing has been put on hold and investigations will continue for as long as necessary… That’s our position,” International Cricket Council (ICC) spokesman Brian Murgatroyd told The Telegraph on Wednesday evening.
The West Indies allrounder is being probed for questionable telephonic conversations in the lead-up to the January 21 ODI in Nagpur, a match best remembered for Sourav Ganguly’s blazing comeback in limited overs cricket.
Thanks largely to the former captain’s 98, Team India won by 14 runs.
As for Samuels, he went wicketless for 53 and, then, scored 40.
The ICC’s stand is that Samuels can continue to play (he’s in the West Indies’ XV for the World Cup) till the investigators are convinced he was actually involved in match-fixing.
It’s a strange situation and one wonders how his presence is being viewed by opponents.
While the ICC is looking at the “positive side” of the scandal — basically, that the “menace” hasn’t gone away and players still need to be “vigilant” — Murgatroyd insisted the 16 World Cup squads didn’t need a more elaborate pre-tournament briefing.
“The ACSU officials keep interacting with teams on a regular basis… We don’t think a special briefing is required… The routine things should suffice,” he pointed out from Montego Bay.
Lord Paul Condon heads the ACSU, while Jeff Rees is its chief investigator. Much of the work is, of course, done by the five regional security managers.
Footnote: Incidentally, only Mediapersons who cleared the “security screening” have been accredited by the ICC. Even if this was done in the last World Cup (2003), it wasn’t put on record.