A recent report about the former New Zealand batsman, Lou Vincent who identified cricket games around the world where match-fixing allegedly took place, prompted the Chief Executive Officer of the South African Cricketers Association, Tony Irish to state that there is little chance of this type of crime infiltrating South African cricket.
According to Irish, Cricket South Africa and the six cricket franchises have excellent anti-corruption codes in place. In addition South African cricketers have been well educated against the dangers of match fixing and advances from unscrupulous bookmakers. Moreover, top playing cricketers, especially those who participate in the Indian Premier League, earn such high earnings (anything in the region of between R10 million and R15 million per year in total cricket earnings), that they would not be attracted to potential money which could be made in sports corruption deals.
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According to Irish, South African players are among the best paid in the world, receiving only less than their Indian, Australian and English counterparts. As such, while the act does not “nullify the threat of participation in corruption”, it still lessens the attraction to be part of a match fixing scheme.
In recent days, the UK Daily Telegraph published details of an ICC report which quoted the Kiwi batsman making allegations about matches where match fixing was involved. The report indicates how the offers were made and even the signals used to show that a ‘fix’ was taking place.
Some of the matches indicated by Vincent were played at the 2012 Champions League in South Africa. However, Irish said that “none of the South African players involved in that Champions League T20 tournament reported anything untoward to SACA or CAS and as far as we know, none of our players are under investigation at the moment.”
Irish said that every contracted player’s agreement has secure clauses about anti-corruption.
“There are also secure clauses in the franchise players’ contracts,” he said. “A thorough education program on anti corruption forms part of the players’ education programs at franchise and international level.”
Irish admitted that incidents of match fixing could not be totally discounted in South African cricket, although he would be “surprised if it turned out that any South African player wasn’t clean.”