CA set up anti-corruption unit
Sydney - Australia has formed an anti-corruption watchdog to monitor its domestic competitions in the wake of a London court's decision to jail three Pakistan cricketers for their roles in a spot-fixing scandal.
The new Anti-Corruption Security Unit (ACSU) would preside over the Sheffield Shield, the one-day Ryobi Cup competition and the newly-formed Twenty20 "Big Bash" League, governing body Cricket Australia (CA) said on Wednesday.
"As well as an at-venue presence at domestic matches, the CA ASCU will administer the educational program for all players involved in Australia's domestic cricket competitions and provide education sessions for staff in CA's betting and anti-corruption policies," CA said in a statement.
The unit would be headed by former policeman and current CA security manager Sean Carroll in partnership with state cricket associations.
"Betting related corruption is a significant issue to sport in general and Cricket Australia is determined to institute measures that safeguard the integrity of our sport," CA chief James Sutherland said.
"There has been no evidence of problems in domestic cricket but we want to move proactively on the basis that vigilance and constant education is critical.
"The unit will give our domestic cricket bodies a specialised resource to call on to protect our sport from instances of corruption and underscores our dedication to stamping out illegal activity."
There have been comparatively few instances of betting-related corruption in Australian sports but the country's sports-related gambling market has exploded in recent years.
A sports agent embroiled in the Pakistan spot-fixing case called Australian cricketers "the biggest" culprits and that they had fixed "brackets", set periods of a match on which punters bet, a London court heard last month.
Cricket Australia and test and one-day captain Michael Clarke dismissed the claim as baseless.
Pakistan cricketers Salman Butt, Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Ameer were handed jailed sentences ranging from six to 30 months earlier this month for their role in a gambling-inspired plot to bowl no-balls at pre-arranged times during a test match against England at Lord's in August 2010.
Amir was granted leave to appeal the verdict, while former Pakistan captain Butt is also seeking permission to appeal.