Crickileaks (collective noun) – A term used to describe what happens when you give testimony in confidence to an ICC body and that body chooses to share that testimony with journalists.
It has been a strange time in cricket. The sands are shifting and it appears that the ICC’s Anti Corruption and Security Unit (ACSU) is starting to get busier than Steve Smith at the crease.
We have learnt through various leaks that Lou Vincent, his ex wife and Brendon McCullum have all given testimony to the ACSU. They allege that Player X has been, or attempted to fix matches in at least the now defunct Indian Cricket League (ICL).
New Zealander Chris Cairns has confirmed that he is Player X, but strenuously denies that he has fixed anything.
We have also learnt that the ACSU has been speaking to bookies and warning them of what is coming. Read this for more information on that alarming piece of information.
Finally, it is alleged via leaks that ICC employees have helped players launder money.
You may well say that this is great. Finally, we are seeing some action on the corruption front.
Well, all is not as it appears.
You see, The ACSU is in a state of flux and possibly disarray. Much of it may not be of its own doing.
Since the recent takeover of the ICC by India, Australia and England (the Big 3), the ACSU has been on tenterhooks. Those three countries have announced their intentions to “reform” the ACSU and have it report directly to the ICC President elect rather than current ICC CEO David Richardson. There is also talk that it may be disbanded all together.
This ICC President elect is N. Srinivasan from India. The same N. Srinivasan whom the Indian Supreme Court is currently investigating for alleged conflicts of interest and other matters. The same man whom the Supreme Court referred to as “nauseating”.
Possibly not wanting this and other changes to happen, the ACSU is leaking more than the Titanic. What is meant to be secret discussions are now very public. The ACSU wants us to know that they are an effective unit.
So, what’s the impact?
In wanting to take more control over a body that needs to be independent, the Big 3 have now lost control.
The direct impact is that players no longer will be as willing to report issues for fear of leaks.
Read this from Chris Cairns after I asked him his thoughts on whether he trusted the ACSU:
NZ cricket administrators are fuming that McCullum’s name is in the public domain. The ACSU however, have us wanting to believe that they are more effective than CSI Miami.
The really stupid thing is that under the ACSU Charter, all leaks need to be investigated for the source.
So now we have the ACSU investigating itself. Didn’t we just go through this with the BCCI before the Indian Supreme Court stopped those shenanigans?
The ICC have lost their way with this. Changes are needed, but not the ones that Srinivasan is pushing for.
We need to see the following:
1) A truly independent ACSU or other body that has full powers and independence to investigate at will. It should also have the ability to prosecute at arms length from ICC or individual board interference or political pressures.
2) The ACSU needs more money than the USD $5m it currently runs on per annum. It also needs full time investigators in every country. This is currently not the case.
3) Currently, the ACSU charter strictly bans them from naming anyone until after they have been found guilty. They need to start respecting their own rules. Leaks are damaging. Very damaging.
4) The ACSU has very limited powers in regards to Domestic T20 competitions. These are the competitions that are overrun with corruption issues. This is a major problem.
The reason being is that the ACSU can only present findings to that country’s board. It is up to the board to then decide what action to take.
Can you see Srinivasan taking action over Dhoni or Raina if that is required? I think not.
5) The ACSU charter has a ridiculous 8 year statute of limitations. In effect, if you cheated in the ICL which closed in 2009, you are free from fear of punishment come 2017. This is just dumb and does not serve the game in any logical way.
It is clear that Corruption is winning.
Under the Big 3 proposed changes, it will continue to win.
So ICC. I know you have commissioned reports into how to fix the ACSU before to make it more effective. Most recently, there was the Bertrand de Speville report.
Maybe it is time you re-read it. It was pretty good. It also warned of the mess that would be created if you allowed Crickileaks to continue.
Time to get serious boys.
Stop the leaks.
Increase ACSU powers.
Make the ACSU truly independent and properly funded.