This article was last updated on April 16, 2022
Lord Condon, the former head of the International Cricket Council’s anti-corruption unit, has admitted that “every international team, at some stage” played a part in match fixing before the unit he helped set up was formed to combat illegal practices in the sport.
Lord Condon made the comments in a revealing interview with the Evening Standard on Tuesday following the recent convictions of Salman Butt, Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Amir. The three Pakistan cricketers were, earlier this month, jailed for their involvement in spot-fixing during a Test match in England in 2010.
“Every international team, at some stage, had someone doing some funny stuff,” Lord Condon said. “A whole generation of cricketers playing in the late 1990s must’ve known what was going on and did nothing.
“When they look back on their careers, a bit of shame must creep in. The last fixes of whole matches, or even series, were probably in 2001 before we’d really got the unit going.”
However, despite a number of high-profile spot-fixing cases involving players from the subcontinent, Lord Condon said that the root of the problem, in fact, lies in English cricket.
“It started with friendly fixes in the UK in the old Sunday leagues,” he said. “Over a weekend you’d have a county side playing their county match and then a Sunday league match and there would be friendly fixes, not for money but for manipulating places in the leagues.
Lord Condon believes that the 2003 Cricket World Cup was a key moment in the growth of spot-fixing.
“In one group match during a couple of overs two guys suddenly went from scoring runs in double figures to just ones and twos. For spot-fixing, that’s all you need,” he said.
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