New Delhi: Moments after being appointed the vice-president of the International Cricket Council (ICC), AHM Mustafa Kamal on Tuesday made it clear that eradicating corruption in the gentleman’s game was one of his main aims in the near future.
Initially, Kamal was set to be appointed during ICC’s Annual General Meeting in Kuala Lumpur in June, but his nomination was delayed and only the position of ICC president was filled, with Alan Isaac taking over from Sharad Pawar.
In the wake of the recent controversy, where an Indian channel has exposed umpires’ willingness to fix games and pass vital information to bookies in exchange for money, Kamal said that no stone would be left unturned to ensure the game is not only played in the true spirit, but also adjudicated in an impartial manner.
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Speaking to MAIL TODAY from Colombo, Kamal said: “The ICC maintains a zero-tolerance policy against corruption and now, with startling revelations about umpires too being involved in fixing, the noose has to be tightened further to ensure there is no scope to even think about crossing the line of fair play."
“The ACSU (Anti- Corruption and Security Unit) of the ICC has been doing its best to ensure that fixing is wiped out from the system and every person involved with the game has been given strict instructions about what amounts to dishonesty and bringing the game to disrepute. I will personally join hands with them to ensure a corruption-free game.”
Kamal further felt that if the umpires — often considered the ultimate authority on the field — have indeed stooped down to bribery and corruption, things will only get more difficult.
He believes this needs to be nipped in the bud.
“Players are sometimes lured because they are young and wish to live a flamboyant life way beyond their means. But if umpires too go that way, the situation worsens further. If the guardians of the game themselves falter, it sets a very negative example for the others. But first we need to investigate and see if they are guilty,” he said.
Coming to his own appointment, Kamal said that it is a huge day not only for him, but also for Bangladesh cricket.
“I am overwhelmed at being considered fit to hold such an important position. I feel this is not only an honour for me, but also Bangladesh cricket and the people of our country. It shows that we are taken just as seriously as the other top nations playing the game. I wish to bring repute to the nation through this appointment,” he said.
Kamal also said that the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) is looking to finalise a full-fledged tour of India next year.
Although India participated in the first Test Bangladesh ever played, the eastern neighbour has never toured India.
“The BCB is in talks with its Indian counterpart to ensure that Bangladesh plays in India next year. We feel that Bangladesh has come to a level where they can provide enough of a fight to tough opponents like India. When Bangladesh held its maiden Test in Dhaka against India, it was more a case of making the game more popular in our country and also to earn revenue. But now it’s strictly a cricketing decision and we are looking to finalise things on Wednesday,” said the man who will now need to vacate his position as BCB president.