Cricket Australia © Getty Images (File photo)

Melbourne: Oct 19, 2014

In a first of its kind initiative, Cricket Australia has decided to establish an amnesty period for its players to report corruption-related suspicions in an effort to weed out match fixing in the game and shady characters behind it.

Cricketers face bans of up to five years if they are found to have failed to report information relating to a breach of CA’s anti-corruption code but in an Australian first have been told they will be spared from penalty if they come forward with any evidence from their careers by the end of November.

The move comes as anti-corruption investigators prepare to confront the threat of match and spot fixing at next year’s ICC World Cup 2015 in Australia and New Zealand, a report in Sydney Morning Herald said.

International Cricket Council last year signed a memorandum of understanding with the Australian Federal Police in a bid to assist them in combating corruption in the showpiece tournament to be held in February-March next year.

The amnesty period was directed at getting information or suspicions that current international and state players may have from throughout their careers, the report said.

CA’s senior manager of integrity Iain Roy said the impunity offered to players in the reporting period until November 30 was established to urge cricketers to tell officials about “any suspicious activity that doesn’t feel right” and “covering all periods”.

While Roy said there was no suggestion of Australians involved in illegal activity, the threat of corruption was “very real”.

“What we’re doing at the moment is building on the culture that we’ve already got in the game. There has always been a culture in the game of reporting and this effort is just an attempt to make sure that we’re shining a light into dark corners if you like,” Roy was quoted as saying in the report.

“We hope that granting a short amnesty period in relation to any previous non-reporting of relevant facts will encourage anyone with information to come forward.”

A new reporting hotline has been established for players, officials and administrators.