Belfast Telegraph

Sir Ronnie Flanagan parallels cricketing scandal with Ulster

By Adrian Rutherford

Former Chief Constable Sir Ronnie Flanagan insists informing the authorities is the only way to root out cricket corruption – just like when he was tackling terrorists in Northern Ireland.

Sir Ronnie’s first month in charge of the ICC's Anti-Corruption and Security Unit has coincided with one of the biggest scandals to hit the sport.

Three Pakistan players — Salman Butt, Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Aamer — are currently being investigated by the ICC for alleged spot-fixing.

Yesterday it emerged a fourth player is under investigation over match-rigging claims.

In an interview with the News of the World, Sir Ronnie spoke of the parallels with investigating terrorism in Northern Ireland.

“When we sought assistance from the public in Northern Ireland, my message used to be — you are the folks who know the regular patterns of activity in your area,” he said.

“Therefore you will know of any departure from these regular patterns. If you see any departures from those regular patterns, please inform us, that's my message to the players.

“In Northern Ireland I would rather have had 50 false alarms of what looked to be suspicious activity than miss the one where someone is actually making a bomb.

“Having been involved in policing in Northern Ireland and having frequently received reports of the most dreadful occurrences, the shock factor naturally diminishes over time.

“When I heard of the latest allegations, it wasn't so much a shock — we all know this sort of thing goes on — but I personally believe that it goes on from time to time rather than going on from a rampant sense.”

Meanwhile, Yasir Hameed, who reportedly accused his team-mates of fixing matches, has claimed he was only repeating allegations he read in the newspapers.

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