Dubai - ICC Chief Executive David
Richardson believes that “there has been no stone left unturned” as
preparations continue ahead of the 2015 Cricket World Cup, but stressed the
need for players to remember their responsibilities to uphold the sport’s
integrity at all times.
In an exclusive TV interview with the ICC, the former South Africa wicketkeeper also shared his views and hopes
ahead of the sport’s pinnacle 50-over tournament, having worked in the role of
ICC General Manager of Cricket in each of the previous three tournaments (2003,
2007 and 2011).
In a candid and wide-ranging interview, Richardson, who featured in the Proteas squad that reached the semi-finals of
the competition the last time the event was staged by Australia and New
Zealand, in 1992, believes that this will be the best World Cup to date.
And on the eve of the 11th edition of the
tournament, Richardson has also strongly reinforced the ICC’s expectations
on player behaviour and maintaining the game’s integrity at all times, on and
off the field of play.
“Over the last six months, or even going
back further to the last Ashes series, there have been too many examples of
player behaviour going too far and overstepping the boundaries of
acceptabilities. The amount of sledging and disrespect shown by players to each
other was bad. Since then, we have done a lot of work with our umpires and match referees to ensure that they are much more pro-active in terms of
policing behaviour on the field and when players do over-step the mark, taking
“Over the last three or four months you
have seen 12 ICC Code of Conduct charges laid against people for exactly that;
disrespectful behaviour on the field. For the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015, it
will be no different and at all pre-event briefings with the teams, the match referees will be making sure that that message is delivered loud and clear.”
In outlining the ICC’s recent worldwide
clampdown in dealing with suspected illegal bowling actions, Richardson also
outlined the ICC’s position for the Cricket World Cup.
“We want to make sure that we don’t lose
ground on what I think has been significant progress over the last few months,”
he said. “The game realised that we had a significant problem and there were just
too many bowlers, from all teams, bowling with suspected actions. So, I think
we have made very good progress in identifying those bowlers, sending them off
to be tested and, where necessary, suspending them until they can remedy their
“There might be one or two (bowlers) who
were suspended and who are now coming back into international cricket and the
challenge for them will be to make sure that they maintain their remedied
action. The instructions to the match officials will be no different and these
matches will be treated exactly the same as any other international match. And
if there are bowlers who are bowling with suspect actions, they might be
reported,” he continued.
“The ICC-accredited testing centre in
Brisbane is on stand-by so that if somebody is reported early on in the
tournament, he can go straight off to Brisbane, get tested within five or six
days, and we can have the report so that he can either continue bowling if he’s
found to be legal, or if he’s illegal, then he will be suspended.”
With corruption and match-fixing spectres
that loom over world sport, Richardson has credited the work of the local
agencies, as well as the ICC Anti-Corruption and Security Unit (ACSU), and he
believes that the ICC is well-equipped to deal with these threats.
“On the corruption side, it’s safe to say
we’re the best prepared we’ve ever been. Our Anti-Corruption personnel have
done a lot of work in entering into agreements, associations and arrangements
with the local police and law enforcement agencies in both New Zealand and
“As the years have gone by,” he continued.
“Our intelligence and information on who these corruptors are, and who may try
and fix matches around the world, has grown. We know exactly where these people
are and we have got a list of more than a hundred names that we will be passing
on to these law enforcement agencies. It will be very difficult for anybody
outside of the game to come and even attempt to try and corrupt players,
umpires or anybody involved in the World Cup, to try and fix a match.
“In addition, the New Zealand and Australia
governments have introduced specific legislation which makes attempting to fix,
or fixing matches, a criminal offence. This enables, not only us (ICC ACSU) but
the police themselves to take much more specific and direct action against
these people who are trying to corrupt the game.”