ICC to curb ~~fixing~~ with iron hand

Published: Tuesday, October 9, 2001, 0:31 [IST]
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London: International Cricket Council (ICC) chiefs said on Monday they were determined to impose tougher penalties for players on the field and continue to pursue match-fixers off it. Disgraced former South Africa captain Hansie Cronje is currently challenging his life ban from cricket in the South African courts. But ICC president Malcolm Gray, speaking at Lord's, said that even if Cronje succeeded that would not be the end of the matter as far as world cricket was concerned. "Our point of view is that a life ban means 20 years. Any change to that would have to be ratified by our Code of Conduct Commission," Gray explained. He added that he wanted corruption out of world cricket within 12 months although his fellow Australian, ICC chief exceutive Malcolm Speed was more cautious. "Lord Condon (the head of the Anti-Corruption Unit) has stated that we have successfully suppressed corruption. What he is unable to say at present is that we have defeated it. But we are determined to do so." Turning to active cricketers, Speed added he would be urging next week's ICC executive board meeting in Kuala Lumpur to abolish suspended fines and sentences as punishments for players, who showed dissent at umpiring decisions and verbally abused their opponents. "There are a lot of suspended sentences but very few suspensions. Too many match referees take the soft option. We seek to remove the limit on the referee's ability to fine players - currently limited to 75 per cent of the player's match fee. "We have asked the board to remove the limit on the period of suspension - currently limited to three Test matches or six One-day Internationals," Speed said. The former Australian Cricket Board chief executive also added that the ICC wanted to see an end to "personal and offensive" sledging. Speed revealed that in a survey of Test captains seeking their thoughts on the future of the game one response had included a request for "lie detector tests every six months for leading players, administrators and officials". Turning to the game's troubles with corruption and bribery Speed added that $ 250 million was bet on every single One-day game. He went on to explain that similar amounts were bet on Test matches and that there were now plans to introduce a One-day championship similar to that now in place for Tests. "England is 3-0 up in its One-day series against Zimbabwe and we'd like a situation where the last two matches of that series count for something and we'll be putting forward proposals for a rolling One-day championship." Speed also announced plans for an elite panel of eight umpires to control all Tests with a similarly exclusive squad of five match referees to oversee their work. In future no Test will feature an umpire from one of the competing countries as happens at present. Should the executive board agree to these proposals they are expected to come into force next April.

Focus: Match-fixing
Fix reports

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