Cricket is not a sport known for its controversies. The sport has been relatively free of any scandals. Recently, news broke that a very strange attempt to fix games has occurred. The International Cricket Council (ICC) knows about the match-fixing scheme. The ICC is the top regulatory body that oversees the sport. The oversight seems to be working, as the plot did not go undetected.
Sir Ronnie Flanagan is the chairman of the anti-corruption unit of the ICC has spoken to the media about the scandal. Flanagan has been very guarded in terms of the details he has released. Basically, he referred to the plan as an “alleged plan”, and he noted members of an “international cricket team” are the principles in the plot. No specific names have been released. Nor has the country the cricket team hails from has been revealed. Likely, the investigation is still ongoing. Hence, the ICC is not willing to release all the particulars at this time.
The actual match-fixing never occurred. The ICC discovered the plans, and steps were taken to stop the fiasco from occurring. The players on the team were contacted. A meeting was held, and the team was informed those players who were part of the plot will be duly punished. The extent of the punishment remains to be seen.
An incident like this could prove outright disastrous for the financial health of the team. Fans are not exactly going to be enthused about buying tickets to cricket events featuring players who planned on fixing a game’s outcome. TV ratings, merchandise sales, and more could all be adversely impacted.
Based on the cryptic reports that the ICC has issued, it appears the fixing plans were done in concert with wagering on the games. The ICC has not confirmed this overtly, but the inference is there.
If the fixing plan was intended to be tied into wagering, sports betting on cricket throughout the world could end up suffering. Sportsbooks and casinos are surely not going to be thrilled when their cricket-related revenue is undermined by a scandal.
Keeping any match-fixing from occurring definitely does help the casinos. Still, there are those gamblers who may take a wait and see attitude before putting any money on cricket games. Revenues could end up being reduced to an uncomfortable degree.
The ICC does deserve a lot of credit for being on the proverbial ball with the situation. The response was quick, and did not entail any overreaction. No leaks to the press about currently-private information has occurred. Granted, an unapproved leak to the press could occur at any time. This has not occurred at this time, which is a good thing. Leaks only end up making the situation more complicated.