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Corruption is the single biggest challenge facing cricket today, according to the former and current international players and officials that comprise MCC’s World Cricket committee.
The committee, chaired by former England captain Mike Brearley, has just finished meeting – dominated by the subject of corruption – in New Zealand.
The threat of corruption won't go away
It called upon ICC’s Anti-Corruption and Security Unit (ACSU) and national cricket boards to harness intelligence from players, bookmakers and betting exchanges, and use it to develop software to monitor and assess probabilities of certain outcomes in the four areas of the game that attract betting from illegal bookmakers – results, lunch and tea scores, brackets (specified periods of play) and end-of-innings scores.
Watch: Behind the scenes at the World Cricket committee
Brearley praised ICC’s ACSU for the work undertaken so far, but warned that more needed to be done: “The threat of corruption won’t go away. Complacency is the biggest risk; we need to be resourceful and vigilant.”
Meeting just days after MCC announced the introduction of a new Law, making it a No ball when the bowler breaks the wicket whilst delivering the ball, the committee stated that it would commission research into the size of bat edges – with the need to maintain a fair balance between bat and ball being of paramount importance.
It also called on ICC to introduce a playing regulation stating that a substitute fielder should only be allowed in cases of serious injury or illness, because it felt that the Law was being widely abused at international – but not amateur – level.
Dave Richardson, ICC’s Chief Executive who sits on the committee, will also return to his headquarters in Dubai, with a recommendation from the committee that ICC train a group of third umpires specialising in the use of television decision review technology.
With an eye on the development of the game in the future, the committee voiced its support for Twenty20 cricket to be introduced as an Olympic sport in 2024.