Steve Waugh believes there is a place for lie detector tests in the war against corruption in cricket, after taking one himself.
Waugh heads the MCC World Cricket Committee’s (WCC) Anti-corruption Working Party, which also features Courtney Walsh, Barry Richards and MCC
Chief Executive Keith Bradshaw.
Video: Steve Waugh sits a polygraph test
The WCC declared, at its recent meeting at Lord’s, its belief that the use of polygraph tests, though sensitive as a subject, should be widely debated.
It hopes to meet with the ICC’s Anti Corruption and Security Unit to present these findings in the future.
Waugh undertook a lie detector test earlier this year under the guidance of one of Australia’s leading polygraph examiners, Steven Van Aperen, which he passed convincingly.
'Hard to catch people'
Waugh accepted there were obstacles to overcome but reiterated his belief that the use of lie detector tests could play an important role in stamping out corruption in the future.
He said: “Right now the only people that have been caught have been caught by accident or by the media so it suggests that it is very hard to catch people who are doing the wrong thing.
“It’s not meant to be a witch hunt; it’s an option going forward. This is a possibility for people to clear their name or commit that they are going to do the right thing in the future.”
Waugh, who played 168 Tests and 326 One Day Internationals for Australia, admitted the WCC was still in the embryonic stages of determining a full strategy on corruption.
He was positive though about progress since becoming Chairman of the new corruption Working Party following the last WCC meeting in Perth late last year.
The former Australia skipper added that attention at the recent meeting had turned towards developing a strategy for the future – and that lie detector tests could play a role.
“It’s now a case of finding out how we progress – legally we can’t force anyone to take a lie detector test.” added the 46-year-old, who retired in 2004.
“Maybe you could go the other way and get some young ambassadors, advocates, who commit to the game and maybe every so often could take and redo the polygraph test.
“But I think it’s almost about creating a movement of people who are saying ‘we’re going to play cricket in the right spirit’ and getting people behind that. Hopefully this is the impetus to start that.”
The WCC delivered a series of recommendations on tackling corruption in the game (below), alongside a fuller series of statements to emerge from its two-day meeting.
Despite taking on the mantle of chairing the Working Party, Waugh insisted that the entire WCC remains highly committed to the cause.
He said: “I don’t see myself as taking on the issue personally. I had a strong voice in the last Committee meeting as a lot of other guys did.
“Yes I’m the Chairman but behind the Working Party is the wider WCC and we’re committed to try and stamp out corruption in world cricket as best we can.”
WCC statements on corruption
The MCC World Cricket Committee has endorsed six wide-ranging conclusions and recommendations made by its Anti-Corruption Working Party:
1. As part of a thorough review of the use of polygraphs, former Australia captain Steve Waugh volunteered to undergo a test to confirm that he had never been involved in corruption in cricket.
MCC arranged for him to be tested by one of Australia’s leading polygraph examiners, Steven Van Aperen. Waugh passed this test, available to view at www.lords.org/liedetector, convincingly.
The MCC World Cricket Committee applauds Steve Waugh’s bravery in following through with his original proposal, and feels this may prompt others in the game to follow suit.
The Committee accepts that the use of polygraphs tests is a sensitive subject but their potential use should now be widely debated in the game. The Working Party hopes to meet, in the near future, with the ICC Anti-Corruption and Security Unit (ACSU), to present MCC’s thorough analysis of polygraph testing.
2. Players must feel that there is a genuine risk of being caught and so the ICC ACSU should aim to increase their investigative powers by whatever means, including the use of ‘sting’ operations.
3. The deterrent must be as strong as possible, meaning that bans should err towards the severe, rather than the lenient.
4. Any captain or coach who is found guilty of corruption should be dealt a lifetime ban from the Game.
5. Young but established international players and captains from each country should be promoted as ambassadors and role models who pledge to educate and protect other young players.
6. Education to emerging players of the methods used by the corruptors is essential and the ICC ACSU must continue to work as hard as possible in this area.
At its meeting in Perth in December 2010, the MCC World Cricket Committee decided that it should set up a Working Party to investigate ways that corruption might be eradicated from the sport.
The working party at its outset was keen to stress that it was not looking to rival the work by ICC - rather it was hoping to provide a players’ view of corruption and hoped to assist with the ICC’s work.
One of the main driving forces behind the group was the desire to rebuild the public’s confidence in the integrity of the sport.