The Telegraph
Sunday , August 10 , 2014
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Is it an issue of too much red tape?

Calcutta: Amending any Code, be it the Code of Conduct for Players and Player Support Personnel or the Anti-Corruption Code for Participants, isn’t a simple matter for the International Cricket Council (ICC).

Or so it seems.

Consider this: The ICC began reviewing the Anti-Corruption Code in 2011, after Michael Beloff, QC, made observations with regard to Mohammed Aamer’s five-year ban.

Well, three years on, it’s “still a work in progress,” as a top source of The Telegraph put it.

Apparently, there’s too much of red tape. The ICC’s legal wing gets into the act, then the countries who have a seat on the Board and, then, the legal personnel once again.

“It’s fair to say that changing the Anti-Corruption Code hasn’t always been a priority for the Board... That’s why it remains a work in progress,” the top source added.

Does that reflect well on the ICC, though?

Beloff, it may be recalled, sought amendments to the Anti-Corruption Code to allow “flexibility in relation to minimum sentences in exceptional circumstances.”

Currently, on an issue of corruption, the minimum ban is for five years. Maximum is a lifetime.

Beloff, clearly, would have imposed a lighter sentence on Aamer. However, he had to follow the rule book and penalise him for spot-fixing.

Aamer was then in his teens.

Later, Aamer was handed a six-month sentence in a criminal conviction at the Southwark Crown Court, in London. He was released after half his sentence.

A few days ago, ICC-appointed judicial commissioner Gordon Lewis urged the world body to “conduct an immediate review of its Code of Conduct.”

Lewis (rightly) felt that the James Anderson-Ravindra Jadeja hearings he’d presided over “highlighted a number of inadequacies.”

On Friday, though, ICC chairman Narayanswamy Srinivasan ruled out an immediate relook at the Code of Conduct.

Is it because of the red tape involved?

One isn’t sure. What can be said is that some in the ICC are rather confused at this point in time.

It’s to be seen, then, to what extent Lewis is eventually heeded.

The ICC’s next Board meeting, in Dubai, is in October. Any movement on any front is unlikely to take place before that.