I've had many reasons to doubt the veracity of cricket's anti-corruption work. One of my big concerns has been the lack of understanding of the way the crooks operate.
When a sting was mounted by an English newspaper in 2010 during the England versus Pakistan one-day series, it was reported that the cricket officials were aghast as the game unfolded in virtually the manner predicted by the journalist.
I read this while in Port Elizabeth covering the Champions League tournament and relayed the story to fellow commentator Sunil Gavaskar over breakfast. Sunny then related what I'd told him to a gentleman who wandered past our table.
His response was along the lines of "how could the players be so stupid with so much heat on them from the no-ball fracas during the earlier Lord's Test?"
Angered by that statement I told him it wasn't the players who decided when 'the fix' was in but the crooks who had the cricketers in their grubby tentacles.
When the gentleman wandered off, I asked Sunny who he was and his answer staggered me; he was a member of the ICC's anti-corruption unit.
If they don't understand the inner workings of the crooks then what chance does cricket have of eradicating corruption?
For quite some time now cricket officials have been touting the fact that the game is becoming cleaner. If it is — and I'm not convinced — then it's no thanks to them.
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