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Cricket corruption role

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has set up seven anti-corruption officials to monitor the vast majority of matches in this season’s Friends Life t20 and Clydesdale Bank 40 competitions. The new team, which will perform a similar role to that of the International Cricket Council’s Regional Security Managers for international cricket, will be deployed at televised and non-televised limited-overs matches from mid-June until the end of August.


Overseen by the ECB’s anti-corruption official, Chris Watts, the team will be staffed the cricket body says by suitably skilled and experienced individuals with investigative and regulatory backgrounds. This follows the setting up by ECB last year of the ACCESS Unit, an advisory body which seeks to protect cricket’s integrity and enforce the sport’s anti-corruption code.


ECB Chief Executive David Collier said: “ECB has been at the forefront of efforts to stamp out corruption in cricket and the creation of a dedicated team of officials to monitor our domestic limited overs competitions demonstrates our determination to protect the integrity of the sport. The team will be operative for a 10-week period beginning with the first round of matches in this summer’s Friends Life t20 competition and ending with the final round of group matches in the CB40 competition.


“They will be a visible presence at matches and will act as a constant reminder to players, officials and club personnel of the need for constant vigilance with regard to this issue as we seek to identify, prevent and eradicate corrupt practises from our domestic game. Players from all 18 first-class counties have recently participated in anti-corruption tutorial sessions and we will continue to work closely with the Professional Cricketers’ Association to enhance player education around this issue.”


The ECB’s ACCESS Group is chaired by the former Chief Constable of Dorset, Jane Stichbury, and comprises of individuals with specialist expertise in sports law, policing, education and security. The ACCESS Group’s role is to support, advise and direct the ECB’s anti-corruption operational executive, Chris Watts (who was previously with Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and is a former senior detective in the Metropolitan Police), in his investigations pursuant to the ECB Anti-Corruption Code.


It will also advise on anti-corruption policy and related security issues, as well as working closely with the PCA on training and education matters and collaborating with other sports governing bodies to share best practice on anti-corruption.


It has a dedicated confidential hotline and email address which is overseen by Chris Watts.


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