London: The ICC Anti Corruption Unit has stepped up its fight against corruption and are close to signing memorandum of understandings (MOUs) with police agencies in United Kingdom, South Africa and India.
ICC ACU chairman Sir Ronnie Flanagan said the ICC is close to signing a MOU with the UK's National Crime Agency that will enable a greater level of intelligence on cricket corruption to be shared between all police forces in the United Kingdom.
"We have a whole series of ongoing investigations at the moment ranging across different countries so the benefit of the increased co-ordination are already being seen," Flanagan was quoted as saying by the 'Daily Telegraph'.
"We want MOUs with investigative bodies wherever world cricket is played. We have it already in New Zealand and Australia and we are in the final stages in drawing them up to be signed within the next month or so with South Africa, India and the National Crime Agency in the UK," he added.
Flanagan defended his unit from criticism in the wake of the Chris Cairns perjury trial in which leaked testimony from the current New Zealand captain, Brendon McCullum, formed one of the key pieces of evidence in the failed prosecution.
"I don't feel we have to regain trust. At the recent World Cup the relationship we had was very positive and the feedback we had from teams was very positive too. It is a question of building on that and making the players realise we are there to protect them and that we are not there to snoop on them. We are there to protect players from the predators that would want draw them in," he said.
According to the paper, the ICC's Anti Corruption Unit sifted through 450 intelligence reports so far this year, which indicates a steady rise in reports over the past five years, with 70 being handled in 2009 and 281 in 2011.
"It is very important that there is a recognition that we are not a police force, do not seek to be a police force and do not have the powers," said Flanagan.
"We cannot investigate members of the public. We can only investigate people within our remit, players in the international game as far as the ACSU is concerned, which is why it is so important to work hand in glove with colleagues in individual nations that have their own anti-corruption structures.
"It is also key that we keep good relationships with other sports whether it be tennis, horse racing, rugby or soccer because I'm convinced the bad guys do not confine themselves to one sport."
Flanagan also said that a new head of prevention is being appointed to improve its education programme, alongside a new director and co-ordinator of investigations, and a senior analyst.
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