44. In establishing the unit and setting the operating protocols for the members of the unit I sought to adhere to the highest standards of integrity and professional standards. I have taken legal advice on all relevant matters and will continue to involve our legal advisors in all stages of our operations. Our computer-based database is registered with the British Data Protection Registrar. Formal interviews are audio taped and/or video recorded in certain circumstances, always with the consent of the interviewee. Written statements are taken to a standard compatible with use in criminal proceedings and cricket disciplinary proceedings.
45. The unit is sensitive to the diversity of religious, cultural and political backgrounds within the member countries of the International Cricket Council and is strengthened and encouraged by the trust and support we have won in the first few months of our operation.
46. It is important not only that we operate but we are seen to operate within the principles of natural justice. In essence, we must not allow pressures for 'convictions' and 'punishment' of alleged wrongdoers to subvert ethical standards and due process. Longer term, the foundations we are now laying will prove more enduring and effective in cleaning up the game than dramatic gestures to grab headlines.
Confidence Building Measures
47. In the first few weeks of the unit we encountered cynicism and suspicion about our role and purpose. History was against us in the sense that the International Cricket Council was perceived as having been dragged reluctantly into public discussion of corruption and action to prevent further malpractice. In each of the member countries I have visited I have held one or more press briefings, I have also had the opportunity to brief senior members of Government in India and Australia and hope to do the same in Sri Lanka and Pakistan in the next two months. The cynicism expressed by players and former players will take time to assuage. They have expressed support for my role and the work of my unit but are still reluctant to accept the International Cricket Council can take decisive and coordinated action to deal with corruption. Also the fact that the ICC funds my unit is used by some to challenge the independence of our endeavours. I have sought to reassure doubters by pointing out that on all our operational matters and investigations I report to the Chairman of the Code of Conduct Commission and not to the ICC President or Executive Board. Malcolm Gray, the President of the ICC strongly supported this independent reporting line. Actions will speak louder than words and if my unit is seen to operate without fear or favour we will reassure those who doubt us. I am encouraged by the information and support we are now receiving.
Self Declaration Forms
48. Prior to my appointment and the formation of the Anti Corruption Unit, the International Cricket Council decided to place international players and others under an obligation to complete a confidential form setting out a series of questions about knowledge and involvement in corrupt practices.
49. The decision to introduce this process was taken at an ICC Executive Board meeting in May 2000, prompted by the Hansie Cronjč allegations in South Africa. A first draft was considered by the Board in June 2000 and the final version was approved in October 2000. All the test playing nations, plus Kenya and Scotland (both countries are represented at Executive Board Meetings and were therefore included) were instructed to prepare the forms and return them by November 2000. A sample form for completion by a player is included at appendix A.
50. The motivation which led to this process was sound but it rapidly became overtaken by events such as the operations of the Anti Corruption Unit.
51. Individual cricket boards were requested to print the declaration forms on their own letterheads and to give a copy to relevant people for completion. Relevant people were designated as follows:
1. Players, including former international players still playing first class cricket
2. Team Officials
52. Each country was asked to produce a list of relevant persons and to send the list to the Anti Corruption Unit ahead of the completed declaration forms. Each completed form was to be sealed in an envelope by the person completing it and forwarded to the board in question. The National Board would then send all the sealed envelopes unopened to the Anti Corruption Unit, via a secure courier.
53. These instructions were designed to give people the opportunity and requirement to be frank and open, whilst maintaining a reasonable degree of confidentiality.
54. This was the first time the ICC had completed such an exercise and not surprisingly the logistics involved were complex and the timescales for return of the forms unrealistic. Players and umpires were distributed throughout the world and each of the boards interpreted the instructions differently. The idea was well motivated but the implementation and response poor. The responses to date have varied from full compliance with every aspect of the instructions through to non compliance. As of 31 March 2001 two countries had completed the exercise completely satisfactorily and negotiations continue with the others to ensure full compliance.
Mail Cricket Editor