LONDON: England captain Andrew Strauss has called ICC’s Anti-Corruption unit a “toothless tiger” as he feels it shouldn’t have taken a tabloid sting to expose the spot-fixing scam that led to the jailing of three Pakistani cricketers.
Former Pakistan captain Salman Butt and pace bowlers Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Aamer were jailed by the Southwark Crown Court for being involved in spot-fixing the Lord’s Test against England last year.
The conviction came after the matter was brought to light by a tabloid sting operation on bookie Mazhar Majeed.
Strauss said it should have come out through the ICC ACU, which was set up 11 years ago and is currently headed by Sir Ronnie Flanagan.
“It’s hard to be happy or satisfied when something like this happens. I think it is fantastic that there’s been some sort of repercussions for what these guys did and there’s a deterrent there,” Strauss was quoted as saying by ‘The Daily Telegraph’.
“For me, there’s still a lot of questions to be answered because they weren’t exposed by any of the cricketing members, they were exposed by the News of the World.
“I think we all know there’s no place for it in the game. We’ve got to be vigilant. I still think the ICC could be doing a lot more than they are doing,” he added.
Strauss said the ICC ACU doesn’t seem to have the means to nab corrupt players.
“Unfortunately, the anti-corruption unit is a pretty toothless tiger. They can’t get into the real depth of it all because they haven’t got the resources available to them.
“I don’t hold it against them, they’re doing the best job they possibly can. They can’t do sting operations like the News of the World, they can’t infiltrate these betting networks,” he said.
“They’ve tried their best. I’m very hopeful that only a minor percentage of cricketers are involved in it, but the truth is we really don’t know.”
England will be up against Pakistan in a Test series in January, on neutral territory in the United Arab Emirates and Strauss hoped that there would be no ill-feeling towards the rival players.
“You play against 11 other cricketers and one of the strong traits we try to foster within the England team is you worry about your own performance,” Strauss said.
“That’s what we’ll be doing in Dubai and it’ll be another keenly contested series as it always is against Pakistan,” he said.