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Ronnie Flanagan: I’ll tackle cricket corruption

The former RUC Chief Constable Sir Ronnie Flanagan has vowed to take a zero tolerance stance on illegal betting in his new job rooting out corruption in cricket.

Sir Ronnie is to take over as chairman of the International Cricket Council's anti-corruption and security unit (ACSU) in July. He will succeed former police commissioner Lord Condon, who retires at the end of June.

Discussing the pledge to retain a hard line against suspicious activity, Flanagan said: “I think the fans, the sponsors and the cricket-loving world deserve no less. I would hope to follow in the footsteps of Lord Condon in pursuing that policy of zero tolerance.”

Flanagan believes the ACSU remains as relevant as when it was first established after a series of allegations and revelations in 2000, although he feels the game is a lot healthier now.

He said: “There is a need for an anti-corruption unit wherever there is potential for corruption.

“Once you begin to be able to bet on who can lose an event — people can never be certain of winning an event but they can be certain at times of losing it — with the large amounts of money in the game there is always potential for corruption.

“Therefore, I think it is right the ICC have an anti-corruption unit, hopefully to prevent it, but where it takes place to investigate it, root it out and bring to justice those involved.”

But he added: “Because of the great work under Lord Condon that has been carried out, I think the game is in a much better place than it was 10 years ago.”

One of the first tasks for Sir Ronnie will be to investigate Pakistan's performance during their recent disastrous tour of Australia. A leaked tape is said to show tour officials saying the defeat in the second Test was not just poor play.

Lord Paul Condon said yesterday: “We are satisfied that was a totally dysfunctional tour.”

Pakistan lost every match on tour.

Belfast Telegraph