International cricket is a leader in the fight against corruption in sports and it needs to remain so. Betting on cricket in the legal and illegal markets continues to grow rapidly and, with many, many millions of dollars being bet on every match, the threat of corruptors seeking to influence the game has not gone away. It is for these reasons that the ICC's Anti Corruption and Security Unit (ACSU) continues to pursue the three objectives of investigation, education, and prevention.
The unit was set up in 2000 following a corruption crisis which represented the gravest challenge it had faced since the Packer Revolution of the 1970s and the Bodyline series of the 1930s. Cricket's reputation and integrity were tarnished and in danger of being destroyed.
Decisive action was called for in the wake of match-fixing allegations and revelations about South Africa captain Hansie Cronje and the captains of India and Pakistan, Mohammed Azharuddin and Salim Malik. Eventually all three were banned for life from international cricket. Other players were suspended, fined and warned about their future conduct following judicial and Board enquiries in several major cricket countries.
Its first Terms of Reference covered the three-year period up to the end of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2003 in South Africa. Those original Terms have been reviewed and amended to recognise the wider role now required. With effect from July 2003, the Anti-Corruption Unit was renamed as the ICC Anti-Corruption and Security Unit.
The change in nomenclature was slight but appropriate as the Unit took on a broader mandate that gave equal weight to the prevention and investigation of corruption.
Its main principal role is:
To assist the ICC and the Members of ICC in the eradication of conduct of a corrupt nature prejudicial to the interests of the game of cricket; and to provide a professional, permanent and secure infrastructure to act as a long term deterrent to conduct of a corrupt nature prejudicial to the interests of the game of cricket.Sir Ronnie Flanagan, one of the United Kingdom's most senior former policemen, is the Chairman of the ICC Anti-Corruption and Security Unit (ACSU) and acts in consultation with the ICC Chief Executive, David Richardson. Day-to-day operational responsibility rests with the General Manager and Chief Investigator.
Allegations of corrupt activity are probed thoroughly by the Unit's Investigators, sometimes with the assistance of Police Officers. In support of their efforts, the ACSU's Senior Information Manager continues to build an international network of contacts in both the legal and illegal markets so that where concerns are raised, the Unit is able to activate these relationships and effectively investigate allegations.
All players and officials that take part in the top level of international cricket pass through the ACSU's education programme.
As part of the education process, players are given details of the ways in which corruptors may seek to 'groom' them from an early age as well as the penalties that exist - not just for fixing all or part of a match but also for accepting money, benefit or other reward for the provision of information or failing to disclose the inappropriate conduct of others.
The seven Anti-Corruption Managers coordinate the ACSU's prevention measures. These experienced law enforcement professionals are present at every international series to ensure that strict anti-corruption protocols are enforced at all venues, collection information / intelligence, particularly around the dressing room areas.