India is considered to be the hub of match-fixing mafias. Most bookies involved in match-fixing are related to the country. It is, thus, that ICC has suggested India to amend match-fixing as a ‘criminal offence’ to find quick solution to the ever-lasting problem. The suggestion was made by ICC anti-corruption unit, coordinator of investigations, Steve Richardson.
In 2019, Sri Lanka became the first country in South-Asia to criminalise match-fixing. The island nation has implemented a 10-year prison sentence for anyone who is involved in the foul play. PCB chief Ehsan Mani has also proposed a draft to criminalise match-fixing the country, which has been supported by former Pakistan captain and present Prime Minister Imran Khan.
Majority of bookies are linked to India: ICC
The Indian cricket board is one of the most powerful authorities in world cricket and can bring about the required change. Keeping in view that the county will host the T20 World Cup in 2021 and the World Cup in 2023, the ICC has made strong suggestions to take strict laws against match-fixing.
Richardson believes making match-fixing a criminal offence will be a single big step towards bringing about the change. He said it would be effective as most number of corruptors are linked to the country.
“India has got two ICC global events coming up: the T20 World Cup [in 2021] and the World Cup in 2023. At the moment with no legislation in place, we’ll have good relations with Indian police, but they are operating with one hand tied behind their back. We will do everything we can to disrupt the corrupters. And we do, we make life very, very difficult for them as far and as much as we can to stop them from operating freely,” ESPNcricinfo quoted Richardson as saying.
“But the legislation would be a game-changer in India. We have currently just under 50 investigations. The majority of those have links back to corruptors in India. So it would be the single-most-effective thing to happen in terms of protecting sport if India introduces match-fixing legislation,” he added.
In India, betting is also illegal.