Spot-fixing scandals low point of my tenure: Haroon Lorgat

Haroon Lorgat said he considered 2011 World Cup in South Asia as one of the best achievements of his four-year term AFP

Kuala Lumpur: Jun 28, 2012

International Cricket Council (ICC) outgoing chief Haroon Lorgat on Thursday admitted spot-fixing scandals were a low point of his tenure, but insisted the sport was now in better shape to fight corruption.

Lorgat, who handed over to new ICC chief executive David Richardson in Kuala Lumpur, said the sport’s response to its worst betting controversy in years would act as a deterrent to cheats.

“It’s a lowlight, but in the manner we responded we demonstrated we will not tolerate any form of corruption and that we’re going to pursue it to a logical conclusion,” the South African told AFP.

Three Pakistani players were jailed in England over the spot-fixing affair after they were caught arranging no-balls to order during the 2010 Test series against England.

During its annual talks, the ICC also ordered all its members to uphold a lifetime ban slapped on Pakistan’s Danish Kaneria by English authorities over a separate scam which left English player Mervyn Westfield in prison.

The reappearance of cheating, which has also been alleged in several other competitions and international series, badly damaged the image of a sport which was left reeling by a series of similar scandals at the turn of the century.

But Lorgat said the prison terms and the reforms made by domestic bodies, including the adoption of new anti-corruption codes, had left cricket better placed to battle corruption.

Mohammad Amir, the young Pakistani caught and jailed for deliberately bowling no-balls in England, has also appeared in a cautionary video warning players about the consequences of spot-fixing.

“There’s a far greater appreciation from (players) to be responsible and to respond to approaches that they might face,” Lorgat said.

“I think the positive out of that scandal is that we’ve dealt with it and strengthened our processes. Part of that is the education process that we’ve also improved upon.”

Lorgat said he considered last year’s successful one-day World Cup in South Asia as one of the best achievements of his four-year term.

But he warned not to expect quick progress towards reform of the ICC, which has been strongly criticised over the power exercised by India, it’s main revenue-provider.

“I think it would be unfair of any of us to expect overnight change,” he said.(AFP)

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