Hey Dave! An Open Letter To David Richardson

Dear Dave,

Yates is sorry to hear you’re a bit put out by the recent leaks of Lou Vincent and Brendan McCullum’s testimonies to the ACSU.

But you can’t be surprised at the frustration being felt by fans around the world that so few disciplinary measures or convictions have been achieved or contributed by the ACSU.  By so few I mean zero. Zip. None. Naff all. Not a God Damn thing.  The only convictions that have been achieved have come via discredited newspapers running scams and police tapping phone lines.  Nowhere was the ACSU to be seen.

People are rightly asking that if boards and the ACSU were aware of approaches in 2008 and after why was nothing seen to be done?  When approaches were reported to the boards and the ACSU what exactly happened thereafter?  Who did what? Who didn’t do what?

You may feel that the leaks haven’t helped but Yates contends that they have.  It has stimulated discussion about fixing.  The recently mooted review of the ACSU and the idea that it reports not to the CEO but to the so-called “Big Three” looks very flawed indeed.  The continuing cloud over Mr Srinivasan’s alleged conflicts of interest is a powerful argument for the independence of the ACSU and it being answerable only to you.

Claiming a no tolerance approach to fixing and being perceived to be doing sweet bugger all about approaches are not mutually compatible.  The ACSU may well have been pursuing leads but its perceived inactivity and lack of results does it no credit at all. This is no doubt partly due to the fact that the ACSU does not have law enforcement status and can only pass any information it gets to law enforcement bodies for them to take further.  May I suggest campaigning to get the law changed so that match fixing becomes a criminal offence?

Perhaps the ACSU is underfunded and poorly structured.  Does it really need a former senior policeman to be head of the unit?  Surely a partnership with police forces from around the world would be a better way to go, utilising the knowledge and resources of real law enforcement with proper knowledge of what happens on the front line rather than former top coppers who (with the best will in the world) don’t have the relevant recent front line experience.

The BCCI isn’t short of cash.  India seems to be something of a hotbed for illegal bookmaking as well as conflicts of interest.  Maybe the BCCI should stump up a shedload of money to fund further staff for a truly independent ACSU.

The identity of “Player X” highlights the issues the ACSU faces.  Chris Cairns has recently been reported to be “Player X”, something which Cairns himself denies.  He has already won a court case against a well known administrator for being named as involved in fixing.  Naming people as potentially involved in fixing could cause mud to stick and be very expensive, with only the solicitors winning.

Take Danish Kaneria as an example.  He continues to try and find courts to hear his appeals against his ban which was imposed after following due process..  How many Kaneria appeals have we had so far? Three?

You know that cricket has not presented itself very well over recent months.  The ECB continues to alienate supporters with its ongoing blundering, talk of “Englishness” and “the right kind of people”.  The BCCI’s Mr Srinivasan’s ongoing conflicts of interest may well continue to dominate conversation about ethics in sports governance.  The PCB’s constant changing of staff thanks to the involvement of the Pakistan Supreme Court is like a game of musical chairs.

If you agree with many leaders I have met who say that perception is reality, there will be many whose perception is that the ACSU haven’t done anything like well enough. That is their reality, my reality.

If you really love and value the game, if you really respect the fans whose faith is being shafted then please stop parroting policy to hide behind.  Start being a real leader.  Tell us something more substantial.

So you deeply regret the leaks. Yates deeply regrets that the game he loves is being polluted, buggered and ruined by scum of the criminal, manipulative and greedy kind.  I’m sure every other cricket lover does too.