The ICC has endorsed an accreditation system for agents, and a rule requiring that it approve all gifts to players and officials, as part of a shift in how it polices corruption in cricket. The changes - both issues came to the fore in the 2010 spot-fixing case - are among 27 recommendations contained in a report submitted to the ICC by Bertrand de Speville, a former Solicitor-General of Hong Kong.
Seven of the recommendations were already in place, the ICC said, and 13 others were accepted. However, the ICC had reservations about the remaining seven - including a provision that unexplained wealth of players, match officials and support staff be investigated - but said it was committed to discussing them further “both internally and with stakeholders”.
The influence of player agents attracted scrutiny during the spot-fixing trial, in which Mazar Mahmood, the agent of the three Pakistan players who were convicted along with him, had a central role. It was a response to the allegations against the trio that the PCB introduced its registration policy for player agents in 2010. England also has a policy in place to approve agents and so too will the ICC, following Speville’s recommendation that it introduce one in consultation with its members and the ACSU.
The report also cited gift-giving as the “precursor to an improper approach”, and recommended that the ICC oversee all gifts given to players, staff and officials. “Experience in other walks of life shows that a gift offence (less serious than bribery) is an invaluable alternative offence in the numerous instances where the necessary connection between the gift or benefit and the improper conduct cannot be proved,” the report said.
It recommended that failure to seek the permission of the ICC to seek or accept a gift be treated as a breach of the Code of Conduct. In order to avoid a situation where players had to approach the governing body for every gift they get, the report suggested a list of certain types of gifts be created which would receive general permission, for example, typical birthday gifts. Those gifts that were not given general permission would then need specific permission from the appropriate ICC officer. There should also be a list of gifts from certain categories of donors that would never be acceptable.
“The applications for specific permission would describe the gift, the circumstances of its offering and acceptance, the identity of the donor and the applicant’s estimate of its value,” the report said. “It would also propose how the gift was to be disposed of: kept, shared, consumed, donated to charity or returned to the donor. On receiving the application the ICC would consider the circumstances and give its decision. The applicant would be bound by the ICC’s decision. “
Though it accepted the danger of gift-giving in principle, the ICC planned to consult with its stakeholders to figure out how such a system could be implemented. In addition, a final decision would only be taken after the governing body had considered the Woolf report in full.
Where the ICC disagreed with the report was on the matter of investigating a person’s wealth. The report stated that: “If it can be shown that he has wealth or enjoys a lifestyle far in excess of his contractual earnings, he could be called on to provide an explanation of how he came by such wealth or is able to enjoy such a lifestyle.”
However, the ICC was concerned that any attempt to uncover where such wealth came from would require the assistance of governments and financial institutions and would therefore be “hugely burdensome on the players and extremely difficult to administer”. Despite the reservations, the ICC said it understood the rationale behind the recommendation and will discuss it with its wider group of stakeholders.
The Speville review comes 10 years after the landmark Condon report was released in 2001 and said, “the problem of corruption in cricket has not gone away despite the efforts of the ICC and ACSU”. The birth of Twenty20 cricket and the creation of the IPL were also thought to have “considerably increased the risk of match-fixing and spot-fixing”.
After the FA Cup action last weekend, Premier league clubs resumed hostilities in their league campaign as the season approaches a crucial juncture. Teams up and down the country made use of the January transfer window to bolster their squad for the final push towards their season defining goals.
The league title is surely headed towards Manchester as the gap at the top has evaporated and only goal difference now separates the two sides. United produced a professional display to tide over their Anfield disappointments as they easily defeated a lackluster Stoke side 2-0 at Old Trafford. Man City on the other hand were dealt a blow as their eternal nemesis Everton once again proved too good for the Citizens. It’s now eight wins in last ten games for the Merseyside club over the Millionaires from Manchester.
Andre Villas Boas’ Chelsea flattered to deceive yet again and in the end were lucky to come away with a point from the Liberty Stadium. Swansea displayed once again that they are here to stay as they completely outplayed their illustrious rivals. A Gareth Bale brace cemented Tottenham’s position in the table behind the two Manchester clubs and comfortably ahead of the chasing pack.
Liverpool continued their recent good run of form by dominating a hapless Wolves side at the Molineux. Kenny Dalglish’s Reds are now well and truly back in contention for the coveted Champions League spot. Andy Carroll scored as well to make it a happier journey for the Kop faithful.
Djibril Cisse’s third stint in English football started on a good note as he scored within the first fifteen minutes of his introduction however QPR were held to a 2-2 draw by Villa as N’Zogbia finally scored his maiden Villa goal. Arsenal and Bolton played out a stalemate at the Reebok which relegated the Gunners to seventh spot as Newcastle leapfrogged them with a victory against Steve Kean’s Rovers.
Martin O’Neill’s revolution at Sunderland continued as they made easy work of Paul Lambert’s hitherto impressive Norwich side. Fulham and West Brom shared the spoils at the Cottage after a topsy turvy 1-1 draw.
Player Of The Round: Gareth Bale (Spurs)
Gareth Bale’s exploits at the San Siro last season made him the talk of the town and possibly elevated his standing in the game to more than what he deserved. However the Welsh wizard has justified all the hype and produced brilliant and more consistent performances throughout the season. Against Wigan the speed merchant was at his menacing best and the brace cemented Spurs’ lofty position in the table and perhaps Bale’s standing as probably the best left sided player in the country and one of the best in Europe.
Goal Of The Round: Fraizier Campbell (Sunderland)
The ex-Manchester United frontman has finally overcome his long standing injury problems that contrived to keep him out for 18 frustrating months..
LONDON (Reuters) - Pakistan fast bowler Mohammad Amir was freed from a British jail on Wednesday after serving half of a six-month sentence for taking part in a spot-fixing scandal that shook the world of cricket last year.
The 19-year-old was released early from a young offenders’ institution in Dorset, southern England, said a source who declined to be identified.
Amir was jailed in November after pleading guilty to conspiracy to cheat and conspiracy to accept corrupt payments.
Former Pakistan captain Salman Butt and paceman Mohammad Asif were found guilty of taking part in the same spot-fixing plot and were jailed for 30 months and one year respectively.
The trio were part of a conspiracy to bowl no-balls at pre-arranged times during a test match against England at Lord’s in August 2010.
The Pakistanis were charged after an undercover reporter with a British newspaper recorded sports agent Mazhar Majeed boasting of how he could arrange for players to rig games for money.
Majeed said he had been carrying out match-fixing for more than two years, had seven players from the Pakistan team working for him and had made “masses and masses of money”.
The agent was secretly filmed accepting 150,000 pounds in cash from the journalist as part of an arrangement to fix games.
Amir agreed to bowl two no-balls on August 26, 2010 although he had only delivered one by the time rain stopped play.
He then bowled another no-ball the following day, a London court heard.
During sentencing, judge Jeremy Cooke said Amir was “unsophisticated, uneducated and impressionable” compared to the other defendants.
“You were only 18 at the time and readily lent on by others,” the judge told the court. “I am clear that you bear less responsibility than your captain.”
The court also heard 1,500 pounds in marked banknotes, which came from the newspaper reporter, was found in Amir’s possession.
Judge Cooke added there was evidence from telephone calls and text messages that Amir had discussed spot-fixing at another London venue, the Oval.
The International Cricket Council banned the three players for a minimum of five years.
manchester united won their match againt the stoke in the premier league by 2-1
Change of format, but no change in result for India Dhoni’s men lose first T20 in Sydney. This time, it’s Australian spin that defeated them. By AR Hemant | Yahoo! Cricket – 3 minutes 30 seconds ago Email Print Suresh Raina is bowled by Dan Christian in Sydney. (Matt King/Getty Images) Sydney: The format changed, but not India’s fortunes. In the first of the two T20 Internationals, Australia won again in the near absence of a challenge from India’s batsmen who finished 31 short chasing 172. The damages were minimised by skipper MS Dhoni’s 48, but the contest had ended in the eight over when India were reduced to 53-4. This time, they weren’t undone by Australian pace, but by the spin bowling of the 40-year-old Brad Hogg and part-timer David Hussey. [Scores | Action in Images] India have lost 13 of their last 14 international fixtures abroad, an immense worry since the under-fire veterans had a hand in eight of those. They had young players in the other games. Compare that to Hogg, who is making his international comeback having retired in 2008. He was named in Australia’s T20 squad after a prolific run in the Big Bash League. Australia’s score was set up by Matthew Wade’s breezy 72 and Hussey’s 42 that maintained the pace David Warner had set with a quick 25. After India elected to bowl, there were two major takeaways from Australia’s innings. The first was the energy and the body language of the Indians on the field. The generational difference was all too visible: in the Tests, India displayed a calm, emotionless resignation to their fate. But the limited overs squad is different. The average age of the eleven Indians playing in Sydney today is 26 years. They dived around, gave the hard chase, and when wickets fell, they celebrated with palpable energy. When Rahul Sharma bled from his right hand after dropping a difficult return catch off Travis Birt, he went off the park, got taped up and returned to finish his overs. Unfortunately for India, the energy ceased to exist once they came out to bat. The second was Australia’s dismantling of Indian spinners. Ravichandran Ashwin tossed some up to Warner and Wade who took full advantage and provided the template for attacking batting. Their confident forward stride was followed by a lovely straight swing of the bat. The ANZ Stadium – hosting its first international cricket fixture today – has long straight boundaries, nearly 90 metres on both sides. But Wade and Warner could clear them with ease several times. Wade struck three sixes, Warner two – including one switch-hit over extra-cover off Ashwin. This sits in contrast to India’s defensive approach to Nathan Lyon in the Adelaide Test, and how they played Australia’s spinners today. Australia ended the contest after taking three wickets in three overs. Gautam Gambhir mistimed a drive to cover, Virat Kohli hit a short ball to long-on, and Rohit Sharma – who’d been waiting since December to play for India – was bowled first ball by a quicker one from Hussey. The shot-making was tentative and the strike rotation poor. There were no partnerships in the top-order. The young team has much to learn and it is unlikely things will get easier for them in the one-day internationals to follow.