Waugh leads the way to fight corruption

Steve Waugh believes younger players from each team should undergo polygrapgh test AFP

By Julian Guyer

London: Jul 20, 2011

Former Australia captain Steve Waugh has taken a lie-detector test as part of his bid to help root corruption out of cricket.

Waugh believes making players submit to examination by lie-detectors, or polygraphs as they are also known, could help drive cheats from the game.As a member of the world cricket committee of Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC), which owns Lord’s, Waugh volunteered to undergo a test to confirm he had never been involved in corruption in cricket.

MCC arranged for him to be tested by Steven van Aperen who, it said in a statement, was one of “Australia’s leading polygraph examiners”.”Steve Waugh passed this test convincingly,” MCC added.Waugh, speaking to reporters at Lord’s here on Tuesday, said: “As a former captain I know you never ask a player to do something you are not willing to do yourself.So on April 7 I went to Melbourne and went through the process of a polygraph test.

“At the end of the process, which took about two hours, I was convinced that anybody with something to hide would be found out by this process.”Australia great Waugh was spurred into action following last year’s revelations by Britain’s now defunct News of the World tabloid that former Pakistan captain Salman Butt, and bowlers Mohammad Aamer and Mohammad Asif, were all involved in the deliberate bowling of no-balls during a Test against England at Lord’s as part of a betting scam.

The Pakistan trio were suspended for a minimum of five years’ each by the International Cricket Council (ICC), the sport’s global governing body, and are now awaiting a criminal trial in England due to start in October.Polygraph tests cannot be used as evidence in an English criminal court and MCC’s statement added: “The (world cricket) committee accepts that the use of polygraph tests is a sensitive subject but their potential use should now be widely debated in the game.”

Waugh, who said the committee was merely proposing voluntary, not mandatory tests, added: “There are a lot of rumours about match-fixing and spot-fixing and I don’t like that. So this is about giving the public some confidence that the game is being played in the right way.

“And for players who have been wrongly accused, I can give them confidence that it is a fair and reasonable process and that you’ll get the correct answer,” explained Waugh, one of several former and current players on a committee that includes India’s Rahul Dravid, due to play against England in the first Test at Lord’s starting on Thursday.

Waugh also urged fledgling international players to be standard-bearers by taking lie-detector tests.”One option might be to get some young players from each team to pledge to do a polygraph to lead the way, it’s not so much about dredging up the past,” he said.

“We’re looking for ambassadors or advocates to put up a hand and say they would undergo a polygraph to be a role model for their team.”

Meanwhile MCC also urged the ICC’s under-fire anti-corruption and security unit (ACSU) to undertake ‘sting’ operations similar to the one carried out by the News of the World last year.ACSU chief Ronnie Flanagan, a former senior British policeman, has said his organisation lacks the resources and mandate needed for such work.

But MCC’s world cricket committee insisted: “Players must feel 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.”

Although it is more than 40 years since MCC ceased to run English cricket, it retains worldwide responsibility for the sport’s rules or Laws. Steve Waugh believes lie-detectors could help drive cheats from cricket.