FICA says players unsure about reporting corruption to the ICC
Tony Irish, the chief executive of the Federation of International Cricketers Association (FICA), has stated the sport’s governing body needs to do more to protect players who are willing to report corrupt approaches from fellow cricketers or bookmakers, ESPN Cricinfo reports.
The comments by Irish come on the back of similar criticism by former New Zealand skipper Brendon McCullum whom, while delivering the MCC Spirit of Cricket Lecture last week, had cited the example of former compatriot Lou Vincent who was not offered any leniency despite co-operating fully with the ICC investigators after his involvement in match-fixing.
McCullum had also alleged that the ICC were deliberately letting out sensitive information being provided by players after his own statements against former all-rounder Chris Cairns for an illicit approach to get him involved in spot-fixing was widely reported.
“How can the game's governing body expect players to co-operate with it when it is then responsible for leaking confidential statements to the media?" McCullum had said during his speech.
Though the ICC denied the claims, Irish has seconded McCullum’s opinion claiming that the players are nervous about reporting sensitive information to the Anti-Corruption Unit of the governing body.
"There is a degree of nervousness generally among players who report, around how that information will be used. Brendon's experience doesn't help with that," Irish told ESPNcricinfo. "It's a question often asked by players during anti-corruption education sessions run by players' associations at the domestic level."
"From a collective point of view we want to ensure that any sensitive information provided to authorities by players is protected and that the various protocols and procedures in place provide adequate protections to players, in particular to whistleblowers," Irish said. "Protecting clean athletes effectively is a critical aspect of ensuring that corruption is stamped out."
Irish feels that the best way forward to deal with corruption in the sport would be to get players more involved in the decision-making process of the ACU.
"The best results will always be achieved when players are part of and buy into regulations, rules, and protocols that affect them," Irish said. "Everyone needs to be in this fight together. We have been pushing to formalise the relationship with the ACU for some time, and we will continue to do so, as we think that this is vital to achieving good outcomes globally.
"By ensuring that player representatives are able to have input into operating procedures (including those related to how player evidence and statements are dealt with), protocols and regulations, it will help to build and develop trust and confidence."