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Hard work needed to weed out ‘criminals’ in cricket: ICC

New Delhi:The International Cricket Council (ICC) has stated its intent to meet Al Jazeera officials after the channel aired a documentary brought to light ‘spot-fixing’ and ‘pitch-fixing’ in Test matches.

Richardson further added that the ICC and their Anti-Corruption Unit (ACU) would not find it easy trying to stop these ‘criminal groups’ from going about with their work.

“We are obviously very much aware there are these types of individuals and types of criminal groups around world who are trying to get into cricket, trying to get hold of players, trying to get hold of groundsmen But it was reminder that these guys are at work and they are not going away and we’ve got our work cut out trying to disrupt them,” Richardson was quoted as saying by ESPNCricinfo.

The three Test matches that were put under the spotlight thanks to the Al-Jazeera sting were India’s match vs Sri Lanka in Galle last year, India’s match vs Australia in Ranchi in 2017) and India’s Test vs England in Chennai at the end of 2016.

“I am always concerned if people are talking about fixing in cricket. I am a little perturbed by any accusation that we would attempt to sweep it under the carpet, or pretend that nothing has happened,” Richardson was quoted as saying by The Independent according to the Press Trust of India (PTI).

“So we will investigate fully. We are meeting with them (Al-Jazeera) in the next couple of days,” he added.

Richardson admitted that various Twenty20 Leagues, operating at the lower level, could be easy target for corrupt activities since stringent rules make it difficult to approach international stars.

“It would be very surprising if international cricketers were able to be got to. And therefore, because that target has been hardened, these guys are now trying to create their own leagues, at a much lower level,” he was quoted as saying by PTI.

“So what we need to make sure is that anyone staging a T20 domestic tournament – especially televised – that they have in place minimum standards. To make sure they have an anti-corruption code in place, that all the players are educated, and that we are monitoring the franchise owners, the people involved in the tournament, doing due diligence,” said.