ICC Current Affairs - 2019

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Sri Lanka becomes first South Asian nation to criminalise match-fixing related offences

Sri Lanka has become first South Asian nation to criminalise several offences related to match-fixing. The move comes after Sri Lankan parliament passed of a bill related to it labelled as “Prevention of Offences Related to Sports”. Sri Lanka’s Sports Ministry worked closely with International Cricket Council’s (ICC) Anti-Corruption Unit (ACU) during the process of drafting bill.

Key Highlights of Bill

The newest legislation covers all sports. As per it if a person is found guilty of committing an offence related to corruption in sports, then he may find himself jailed for a term up to 10 years and will also be required to pay other fines.

The bill criminalises ‘acts of omission’, which includes failure to report corrupt approaches. This means that, Sri Lankan cricketers who are approached by corruptors will now have to report these approaches not only to ICC’s ACU, but also to a Special Investigation Unit (SIU) appointed by Sri Lankan government.

The legislation not only punishes any person related to a sport who is directly involved in fixing, but also those who provide inside information.

The bill also introduces jail term for- curators who prepare surfaces to suit betting operators or match officials who deliberately misapply rules for money, if found guilty.

It is also now illegal for former players and others involved in sports to provide corrupt figures access to current players.

What led to the Legislation?

Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) has been under investigation by International Cricket Council’s ACU since 2017. Former cricketer Sanath Jayasuriya was charged under ICC Code and accordingly handed a two-year ban. Recently, Shakib Al Hasan all-rounder of Bangladesh was also handed a two-year ban, with 1 year being suspended for not reporting a suspected match-fixing offer to ICC’s ACU.

ICC World Cup 2019:  First Time an Anticorruption officer for each team

For the first time in world cup history, each participating team at upcoming ICC World Cup 2019 will have a dedicated anti-corruption officer attached with it. The move is to deliver a corruption-free tournament.

  • About: The International Cricket Council (ICC) will attach an anti-corruption official to all the 10 participating teams. The officer will be with each team starting from warm-up matches till the end of World cup tournament.
  • Previous Structure:  Earlier, the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) Anti-Corruption Unit had its personnel deployed at each venue, means that participating teams had to deal with a number of officials over course of a tournament.
  • New Structure: Now, the same anti-corruption official will be assigned to a team from warm-up matches (start of competition) till end of the competition. They will be staying in same hotel as that of players and also travelling with them to training and matches.
  • Significance: The move is aimed at delivering a corruption and fixing free World Cup.  By being with teams throughout the competition, it is possible that officials would be in better position to spot any potential corruptors who lurk might near players or back-room staff and thus identify any behaviour that may be seem suspicious to them.