ICC anti-corruption unit cautions youngsters on mobile use

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Wellington, Jan.17 (ANI): On average, cricket attracts betting of 150 million US dollars a day, especially on the Indian sub-continent - and players can be targeted by those seeking to influence results.

Some of that influence can be exerted through mobile phones. So, cricketers readily surrender theirs before a match starts.

The crooks start working on cricketers young so the anti-corruption brigade do too.

That's why the International Cricket Council (ICC) has sent its Anti-Corruption and Security Unit (ACSU), led by chief investigator Ravi Sawani, to come to the Under-19 World Cup in New Zealand.

According to the New Zealand Herald, they are capturing future internationals young, making sure they are aware of and armed against those who would seek to use them to profit.

The ACSU has lectured the teams before the tournament, educating the next generation's elite on corruption.

New Zealand coach Chris Kuggeleijn says Sawani made it clear that once a player is involved in any form of corruption, like match-fixing or spot betting on matches, it's a difficult downward spiral to avoid.

"The thing that was made clear is that it is still going on, it hasn't been stamped out ... and it's pretty scary. Fixers take you out for tea, they talk to you, always say 'hello' and become your friend.

It might even take them a year to fully build the relationship. They're just after little snippets of information and it's things within a match to bet on rather than full-blown match-fixing.

"Once you do something you're buggered," says Kuggeleijn.

"That's because someone across the road will be taking a photo of you having a drink with the match-fixer or they'll snap you taking something off him. Then you can't get out."

ICC spokesman James Fitzgerald says deliberate failure on the part of players, due to betting on peripheral aspects of the game, is the hardest corruption to stamp out.

"Match-fixing is only part of it. Spot betting is an area we work hard to monitor. Players will be educated on that issue too."

Fitzgerald says there is a constant need to be vigilant.

"Hopefully, the ACSU's presence will make players aware of the potential dangers," he said. (ANI)

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