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How cricket's anti-corruption units have flopped

Ravi Sawani has spent about a year as head of the BCCI’s anti-corruption unit — also just about a year old — and yesterday, presumably along with the rest of the country, he has got to know about the spot-fixing allegations in the IPL. 

The fact that he is appointed by the BCCI to actually see to it that such incidents do not happen has been of little consequence. The former ICC ACU head has had a long stint with the Indian police service and has also served the CBI. But all those credentials have not helped him crack or even detect what was going on, till the Delhi police, yet again, opened a Pandora’s Box.

Tainted trio
This time, S Sreesanth, Ajit Chandila and Ankeet Chavan are under the scanner. The BCCI’s zero-tolerance policy only surfaces when an incident has already taken place. Even the ICC’s ACU has done precious little as far as detecting match-fixing goes.

Be it the initial ones involving Hansie Cronje and Mohammed Azharuddin or the later spot fixing scandals involving the Pakistan trio Salman Butt, Mohammad Aamer and Mohammad Asif — it has either been the media or the police who have unearthed the plot.

The ICC and lately the BCCI’s ACUs have really not been able to get preventive measures in place. They have not been able to track guilty players and their connections with bookies. Though the Delhi police have revealed that they have been tracking this case for nearly six months now, Sawani and Co has been blissfully unaware. So is there any justification in having such cells?

What is scary is the greed that players have shown what with IPL players getting obscene amounts of money. But nothing seems to stop this fatal attraction for the dirty lucre. Sreesanth has always been an attention-grabbing troublemaker. Now it seems he is a cheat too. Cricket, sadly, has again taken a beating.

* Elora Sen is a Kolkata-based sports writer  

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