BCCI anti-corruption unit set to manage IPL 2019 on its own

The three newly appointed ACU officials will undergo hands-on training during the Ranji Trophy semifinals and the series between England Lions and India A.

The Indian cricket board had collaborated with the International Cricket Council's (ICC's) ACU for earlier editions of the cash-rich T20 tournament.   -  FILE PHOTO/K.R. DEEPAK

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is set to change the way IPL proceedings are monitored this year, using its own anti-corruption unit (ACU) instead of the ICC's.

"The BCCI will take over the anti-corruption job this year," BCCI’s ACU chief Ajit Singh Shekhawat told Sportstar on Monday. "Till now, it was outsourced to the ICC and it would send its anti-corruption managers. This time, the BCCI will look after it.”

The Indian cricket board had collaborated with the International Cricket Council's (ICC's) ACU for earlier editions of the cash-rich T20 tournament, and paid cricket's world body for the service.

The BCCI has hired three former police officers to strengthen the ACU ahead of the tournament, which starts on March 23.

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“Another two (also former police officers) have been recruited and they will join in February," said Shekhawat, Rajasthan's former director general of police. "We are training them, and also thinking about increasing the strength of those deployed (for) security duties, and sort of make them combine with the integrity and security functioning so that we have more eyes watching whatever is going on.”

The three newly appointed ACU officials will undergo hands-on training during the Ranji Trophy semifinals and the series between England Lions and India A.

But at what level have they been appointed?

“There are two levels. In police terms, one is the IG-DIG level and the other is SP-Additional SP level,” Shekhawat said. “We may hire a few more people if we get suitable officers, but, otherwise, we have trained other (units) for anti-corruption duties. If we need, we can dig into that bench strength.”

When it is a BCCI-organised tournament, ideally the Indian cricket board should look after every aspect of the game, according to Shekhawat. "For that purpose, the CoA (the Supreme Court-appointed Committee of Administrators that monitors the day-to-day functioning of the Indian cricket board) was also of the view that the BCCI should look after the anti-corruption unit. Whatever competence and strength needs to be developed, it will be done,” he said.

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“We are going to hold meetings with the franchises, the players, and the staff and make them aware of what we expect them to do and the protocol they need to follow, and also brief them on how people may approach them," Shekhawat said. "If we have a suspect roster, we will show them who the guys are and also make them aware of their duties pertaining to the anti-corruption code."

In 2014, the ICC and the BCCI decided to work in tandem over the next three Indian Premier League (IPL) seasons. The decision was the result of a corruption scandal, which led to arrests of players and team bosses in 2013.

Calls for the BCCI independently monitoring the IPL had been doing the rounds for a while. Former ACU chief Neeraj Kumar too had proposed independently handling the work during the IPL.