“By limiting cricketers’ use of mobile telephones, the report is suggesting a ‘them and us’ approach which can only further damage the standing of the game worldwide” - Jeremy Pope, Transparency International
"There should be an immediate amnesty for cricketers who come clean about their involvement with bookmakers, but whose names have not yet come into the public domain in the context of illicit arrangements with bookmakers," said Jeremy Pope, Executive Director of Transparency International, the Berlin-based anti-corruption organisation. Reacting to the Condon Report on Corruption in International Cricket, which was published today, he continued: "Thereafter annual declarations should be made by every professional player to the effect that he has not knowingly had any contact with a bookmaker in the previous year."
The Condon Report paints a dismal picture of a game once held up to the world as the epitome of everything that was fair and decent, said Pope, particularly when the game, by its very nature and the ability of a single individual to influence a variable factor, lends itself to manipulation. But cricket has been poorly served by administrators who have either, as in Australia, sought to cover up misdeeds or, as in South Africa, too readily jumped to the defence of players.
"The declarations should be made on oath," said Pope. "In this way, not only would the administrators be treating the cricketers as being men of honour, but it would also be laying the grounds for criminal proceedings for perjury should the declarations prove to be false."
Noting that the Report's criticism of the self-declaration forms used in the first stage of the ICC investigation into corruption, namely that corrupt cricketers would be unlikely to give honest answers, Pope said: "The point here is that the balance of risk would be altered. From merely failing to make a disclosure, the offence would be elevated to the level of being criminal if our proposal is accepted," said Jeremy Pope.
Transparency International is concerned about the "law and order" approach recommended by Sir Paul Condon. The problem would only be addressed successfully by winning the confidence and co- operation of the players involved.
"By establishing a permanent Corruption body, by restricting the access of people to the players and limiting their use of mobile telephones, the Report is suggesting a 'them and us' approach which can only further damage the standing of the game worldwide," he said.
For any press enquiries please contact
Jeremy Pope, Executive Director
Tel.: +44-20 7610 1400
Fax: +44-20 7610 1550
Jeff Lovitt, Head of Public Relations
Tel: +49-30-3438 2045
Fax: +49-30-3470 3912