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ICC Champions Trophy
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September 21, 2002
1348 IST

Pool A:
Aus | Ban | NZ

Pool B:
Ind | Eng | Zim

Pool C:
Ken | SA | WI

Pool D:
Ned | Pak | SL

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ICC plays down corruption fear

The International Cricket Council has played down the fear of corruption in the Champions Trophy, despite two of the remaining matches having virtually no meaning to the competition.

Pakistan take on the Netherlands on Saturday in pool four and New Zealand play Bangladesh in a pool one encounter on Monday.

None of the four sides can reach the semi-finals and all that is at stake is avoiding finishing bottom of their pools.

In his landmark April 2001 report, the head of the ICC's Anti-Corruption Unit ACU, Lord Condon, cited so-called "soft matches", where there is little at stake except pride, as potential targets for influence.

But spokesman Brendan McClements said on Friday the ICC believed safeguards were in place to prevent corrupt behaviour at the Champions Trophy.

"All the ICC's security managers are in Sri Lanka and have been in place since well before the tournament started," McClements told Reuters on Friday.

"They make sure that each game is well-regulated and free from corruption and we have every confidence in their ability.

"The recommendations from Lord Condon's report have been implemented and we have a well-resourced anti-corruption unit designed to ensure there is no place for corrupt behaviour in cricket."

Among the safeguards here are the use of security cameras outside dressing rooms and security guards at the entrance to each hotel floor where players are staying.

McClements also cited the prize pool for the tournament, which makes it the richest event for players outside the World Cup.

The winning team in each pool match collects $US 50,000 and the player of the match gets a silver medal made by a firm of prestigious jewellers.

"The total prize fund is $US1.15 million and with that level of reward there are strong incentives for all players," said McClements.

"We are confident we are on top of the corruption issue but we must remain vigilant. We cannot afford to relax and we will not be relaxing during this tournament," he added.

The ACU looked at aspects of Pakistan's eight-wicket defeat to Sri Lanka in the first match of the tournament on September 12.

The ACU was established in the wake of the corruption scandal surrounding former South African captain Hansie Cronje in April 2000.

Lord Condon's report 12 months later identified the World Cup of February 2003 as a target date for the removal of all corruption from cricket.

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