Thatscricket - ODI Series - India~~s tour of Pakistan- ACU happy over measures to keep bookies away

Published: Tuesday, March 30, 2004, 0:33 [IST]
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Lahore:The Pakistan and India series is proving to be a big business boom for bookmakers and punters in the subcontinent as bets in millions of rupees change hands in every match.

But the Anti-Corruption Unit (ACU) officers of the International Cricket Council deputed for the series are satisfied that the security protocol put in place to keep corrupt elements away from the players, has so far proved successful.

Colonel (Retd) Nur Muhammad of Pakistan and Martin Hawkins of England are the ACU officers presently keeping a close watch on the two teams but as the series progresses, the ACU would rotate the officers.

"At a time there will be two officers in the series. The ACU's senior officer Alan Peacock is due in Lahore and so on," said Nur.

Hawkins said the ACU had deputed two officers at a time because of the significance of the series.

The protocol includes a complete ban on mobile phones in the dressing rooms and issuance of special identity cards to visitors of the players after thorough checking of their background.

Surveillance cameras have been installed in the hotel lobby and floors as well as outside the dressing rooms to keep a check on the visitors.

Hawkins was also quoted as saying in 'The News' that it was pleasing that even the teams were not keen to have visitors in either their dressing rooms or hotels as they were keen to concentrate on the game.

He said so far neither the Indian nor the Pakistan team managers had asked the ACU to issue any special visitors passes for anyone.

The ACU considers the subcontinent and Dubai as the main hub of operations for bookmakers and punters virtually living off by taking and placing bets on cricket matches.

Sources said the ACU officers have been co-ordinating closely with the law enforcement and intelligence agencies in Pakistan to ensure nothing untoward takes place.

Nur said the heavy security provided to the teams had also helped them a lot.

"The security cover is so tight that it is a discouragement for those people who might want to corrupt the series for their gains."

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