THE ROLE AND WORK OF THE ANTI CORRUPTION UNIT
8. On the 26 June 2000 I was appointed Director of the Anti Corruption Unit (ACU) of the International Cricket Council. This is a new post and I had to establish terms of reference, recruit staff and establish an office. By September 2000 the staff had been recruited and the unit was working from an office at 1 Queen Anne's Gate, London SW1H 9BT.
9. My Chief Investigator is a former Detective Chief Superintendent from New Scotland Yard and he is supported by two other former detectives who are now Senior Investigators with the unit. I recruited a Security Adviser, with a background in security and protection issues and a Systems Manager to establish an intelligence database and to look after the information technology of the unit. The unit has a full time secretary who is the Office Manager.
10. In this chapter of my report I describe the work of the unit during the first seven months of its existence and the next tranche of work already underway. First, however, I will describe the climate of silence, apathy, ignorance and sometimes fear we inherited, as the backdrop to our work.
A Climate of Silence, Apathy, Ignorance and Fear
11. Within days of taking up this new appointment, it became clear to me that many people within cricket had significant information about corruption within the game. However, the prevailing culture was not helpful. As a result of the interviews carried out by my unit I realised the allegations in the public domain were only the tip of the iceberg. Many people had not reported attempts to corrupt them or suspicions about other people they believed to be corrupt.
12. Various explanations were given for what amounts to a conspiracy of silence. Players did not want to be branded an informant and risk being ostracised by team mates. There was no obvious or credible person or place to report matters. There was the justified fear that 'whistleblowers' would be penalised rather than supported. Players and others feared their international careers would have come to an abrupt halt if they had voiced their anxieties about corruption.
13. Some people were apathetic and thought corruption would always be present, in some form or another, in international cricket.
14. Ignorance has also been the enemy of a more robust approach from within cricket. I have spoken to worldly wise and mature individuals whom I genuinely believe had no idea what was going on, in terms of corruption, even though it took place close to them. Players, former players, umpires and others have been shocked, angry and embarrassed as their role as innocent participants in matches, where the result was corruptly fixed, has been explained to them.
15. The most disturbing aspect of the tolerance of corruption is the fear that some people have expressed to me about their own personal safety or the safety of their families. I have spoken to people who have been threatened and others who have alleged a murder and a kidnapping linked to cricket corruption. In order to respond to these anxieties I have interviewed some people away from their normal lifestyles.
16. It is reassuring that as people have begun to understand my role and the work of the unit they have been prepared to come forward and talk. In most cases we have no reason to doubt the veracity of their allegations and have been able to cross check and validate aspects of what they are saying. In some cases we have encountered people whose motives were dubious and whose allegations were suspect and exaggerated. Sadly and perhaps inevitably, at this stage, the most serious allegations have been made in circumstances which, for the time being, cannot be converted into evidence before disciplinary or criminal hearings. Some people will talk in secure and confidential surroundings but are not prepared to give evidence in formal and public fora. Confidence in the work of my unit is growing and I believe the atmosphere is gradually changing to one of trust and a critical mass of support for cricket to be cleaned up. It will take time and the International Cricket Council will need to convince a sceptical and critical audience that things have changed for the better.
Anti Corruption Unit Investigations
17. Prior to the formation of the ACU, the ICC had received allegations about corruption from a number of sources and these were passed to my unit for assessment and the potential for investigation. Some of these allegations had been discussed at Executive Board level and others had merely been recorded by the staff of the ICC based at Lords.
18. The staleness of some of these allegations reinforced the need for the establishment of the ACU. We assessed these allegations and they provided important background information and the starting point for interviews of witnesses.
19. The ACU computer based intelligence database uses sophisticated analytical systems, comparable to those used by police services around the world. Our analysis quickly generated important strands for investigation.
20. Detailed interviews have taken place involving people from most of the member countries of the ICC. As a result we now have reasonable grounds to investigate a number of people. These allegations against players, former players, umpires and others within cricket are not yet public knowledge and will be investigated during the next phase of work of the ACU.
Support for Judicial, Criminal and Disciplinary Proceedings
21. In helping to draft the ACU terms of reference, I felt it was important to emphasise the support my unit should give to judicial, criminal and disciplinary enquiries into cricket corruption. The Anti Corruption Unit provides the vital coordination, the lack of which previously inhibited the work of these investigations. The work of the unit has added value to enquiries that could have missed important opportunities as a result of parochialism. We have established a secure computer database and liaison point and I am confident we are seen as an independent force who can assist and help coordinate these enquiries. Although the Anti Corruption Unit has a vital role to play, its members do not have the powers given to judicial inquiries and police forces. It is important we assist these bodies to make good use of their powers in dealing with cricket corruption. Whilst some of our support for these inquiries is already public knowledge, I have summarised below our involvement.
The King Commission - South Africa
22. This investigation focused on allegations made public by the New Delhi Police, that Hansie Cronjč and other South African cricketers had accepted substantial sums of money from an Indian bookmaker for under-performing or ensuring that certain matches had a pre-determined result.
23. Judge King's inquiry team included lawyers, police officers, forensic auditors and others. As a result of this inquiry the United Cricket Board of South Africa banned Hansie Cronjč from playing or other involvement in cricket for life. Two other players were suspended from international cricket for six months.
24. I met Judge King in London and members of my unit went to South Africa to liaise with his team. With Judge King's approval we interviewed Hansie Cronjč on 6 November 2000 to learn from his experience and to help formulate some of the recommendations which appear later in this report.
25. Judge King issued interim reports and will issue a final report in due course. As the King Commission draws to a close we remain in contact to ensure that any residual matters are taken forward by the Anti Corruption Unit and the United Cricket Board of South Africa.
Metropolitan Police - England
26. The Metropolitan Police Service at New Scotland Yard is investigating allegations made by the test players, Chris Lewis of England and Stephen Fleming of New Zealand, that attempts were made by a bookmaker to involve them in cricket corruption. We have been in regular contact with the police enquiry team and have assisted them in a number of material ways. The result of the investigation has been passed to the prosecuting authorities for consideration.
Mail Cricket Editor