14 June 2024 last updated at 01:04 GMT
International team under corruption investigation
Monday 07 March 2016

Ronnie Flanagan, the head of the ACU, revealed recent attempts to "manipulate" events in forthcoming matches had been thwarted but did not name the team involved. Neither did ICC Chief Executive David Richardson name the side, but confirmed it related to a recently suspended player, and the only one internationally has been the Hong Kong batsman Irfan Ahmed who was sanctioned for failing to report an approach in January.

Sir Ronnie Flanagan said the ACU had thwarted attempts to "manipulate" events in forthcoming matches to facilitate betting, and that action had been initiated against "one or two individuals".

He refused to elaborate on the "ongoing" matter, but cited it as an example of the ACU acting on intelligence received and playing a proactive role in preventing acts of corruption.

"It will be very difficult for me to talk about specific details about an ongoing case, but quite recently we have a reason to believe that members of a particular team have intentions to manipulate events in forthcoming matches," Flanagan said at a media interaction in Mumbai ahead of the World T20. "This was an international team but I am not going to go into any details because it is still under our investigation.

"Certain individuals, we believed, had intention to manipulate events to facilitate betting on those events. Just like police have to make these operational decisions - in terms of how long or how far you allow something to develop or when do you intervene - we decided in this particular case we would intervene immediately. We would focus on individuals who we suspected, but we would remind the entire squad of all their responsibilities. am certain that our action in that particular case did indeed avert the intention of just one or two individuals, and we have taken action in relation to those individuals and we will be taking further action."

Hong Kong will ask for clarity from the ICC after David Richardson, ESPNCricinfo reported.

"He [Flanagan] said one of the teams was under investigation. I think we need to take that in perspective. We shouldn't speculate that it involves any match-fixing or spot-fixing with any particular players or particular teams," Richardson said in Delhi ahead of the start of the World T20. "In recent times you would have read in the media that a particular player was suspended from his country and the investigations relate to that same team."

When asked whether they saw Richardson's comments as a direct reference to the Ahmed case, Tim Cutler, the Hong Kong Cricket CEO, told ESPNcricinfo. "Any probe would be directly related to Irfan Ahmed. I'm unable to make any further statement as it is still ongoing."

A spokesman later said they would be seeking clarification over the comments. "We hope to get some clarity in the coming days. We don't want this distracting our team, we don't want this affecting our chances and we are here to perform strongly.

"We will certainly be as open as we possibly can be. We will be pushing for a quick resolution on this matter. This is not at all what we want to be associated with."

Richardson, meanwhile, believes that Full Member nations are now well protected from corruption risks and the focus needs to be on the Associate nations and the women's game, with both starting to gain increased television exposure.

"We are now finding that the corruptors are now focused on associate members, women's teams. So we got to make sure the players from all the teams are very well educated, understand their responsibilities and would not get involved," he said. "Unfortunately, this is the world we are living. There are corrupt people all over the world, trying their best to get hold of players."

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