London: The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) chairman Lord MacLaurin said on Friday that he was "appalled" by proposals to subject South African cricketers to lie-detector tests and phone tapping. MacLaurin was reacting after the King Commission in South Africa, which investigated allegations of match-fixing against disgraced former captain Hansie Cronje, suggested it would resort to such draconian measures to try to weed out remaining offenders in the long-running corruption inquiry. "It is unfortunately necessary for players' telephone calls and also e-mails to be monitored," said the commission's second interim report."A somewhat drastic proposal is that players should contractually authorize the undergoing of a polygraph test which would be undertaken either at random or when there are grounds for suspicion present."But MacLaurin has criticised the commission's proposals, which also include the possible introduction of "undercover agents" to approach players posing as bookmakers."My first reaction is one of great sadness," he said. "I would be very, very reluctant to enter into anything like that at all."We do have a problem in the game - I think people are working very hard to eradicate it - but I would like to think there was a certain trust between the administrators and the players. I'm appalled really that we're descending into something like that."We all mean business. But I think there's degrees of how far you have to go; if it's that bad then I think the game is probably rotten right the way through and you can't trust anybody."He added, "Cricket for me is not like that. Cricket is a game that you trust people implicitly; it's a great game of great honour and great integrity - and I think that there are a few people who have transgressed. "But in the whole scheme of things I do think there is trust and honour in the game of cricket and I would not go for lie detectors and anything like that; that would be very sad."A few people (have been caught) - get them out of the game completely, ban them for life. I've taken a very strong view about that."
Copyright AFP 2000