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'Fixing' probe won't affect ICC awards

Source: PTI
September 14, 2005 17:32 IST
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The International Cricket Council said no player nominated for its annual awards would be dropped, or his name deleted, from the list announced in Mumbai on Wednesday irrespective of whether he is under probe by the Anti-Corruption Unit, headed by Lord Condon.

"The ACU is an independent body and I can't comment on its activities, including a reported trip to New Delhi of two of its representatives recently as per media reports," ICC's manager for cricket operations Dave Richardson told a teleconference from Dubai.

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"We cannot comment on the ACU's activities. They are an independent body. But there are no plans to change the nominations or disregard or strike out any names [even if those are being probed by the ACU]," Richardson said to a pointed question from the media assembled in Mumbai when the list of nominees for the ICC's annual awards was released.

Asked whether any deterrent is in place to prevent cricketers from getting involved in corruption, the former South African wicketkeeper-batsman said the threat of a life ban enough to deter a player.

"The biggest deterrent is the threat of a ban, probably for life [for players indulging in corrupt practices in cricket]. As a former player, I can't think of a better deterrent," he said.

Asked about the absence of Pakistan skipper Inzamam-ul Haq's name from the Rest of the World's teams chosen to take on Australia in the Super Series next month though his name figured in three awards nominations list, Richardson said the panel of selectors for the two were different.

"The panel which chose the Super Series teams and the panel that chose the annual awards nominees were different [though both were headed by Sunil Gavaskar]. But I do know Inzy was exceptionally close to being selected," Richardson explained.

"There are only three or four middle order places and those who have found berths have great records. While choosing the names, the statistics provide a big picture and so too does the entertainment value of a player," he added.

Richardson also said the 2006 ICC awards function would most likely be held in India, and probably in Mumbai.

"We try and piggy back the awards function to an ICC event and the ICC Champions Trophy is to be held in India next year. The likely venue of the awards function would also be India and, in all probability, it would be in Mumbai," he said.

He said that only a trophy would be given to the ICC Player of the Year at the awards function, to be held in Sydney on October 11, but he also would be presented a Hyundai car like last year's winner Rahul Dravid.

"There's no move to give cash awards to the winners at present," he said, adding the awards were being given in conjunction with the world players' representative body, FICA.

"We do hope somewhere down the line the Indian players too become FICA members," he said to a query.

He also said the ICC has not fixed a deadline for the integration of women's cricket body with the cricket boards in countries like India where the two organisations are independent of each other.

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