Sir Ronnie Flanagan, chief of the International Cricket Council’s anti-corruption wing, has admitted corruption will never be expunged from the game.
But he was quick to add that fans should know administrators are doing ‘everything humanly possible’ to root out illegal practices.
“I’ll give you the honest answer – That we will never totally, utterly, and absolutely eradicate corruption from the game,” Flanagan said to icc-cricket.com.
“But we can make the game a very difficult environment for those who would seek to bring corruption to bear.”
Flanagan labelled as ‘most evil’ those who attempted to corrupt the game.
“Those are organised criminals. These are members of organised criminal gangs across the world.”
Recently three Pakistan internationals were jailed for spot-fixing during the 2010 Test series in England.
Mohammad Amir, Salman Butt, and Mohammad Asif have since been released and are attempting to resume their cricket careers.
When asked whether he thought the three should be eligible for international duty with the Pakistan side Flanagan said it was a matter for the Pakistan cricket Board.
“They’ve been punished. They’ve met their punishment. It’s now a matter, I think, for their home board to decide whether they should ever grace an international cricket team again.”
But cricket’s integrity remains under a cloud of suspicion worldwide.
After football, cricket is the main sport in the world attracting illegal gambling.
One expert estimated the sports betting market is worth $3 trillion annually, with the vast majority of that being illegal.
Cricket is thought to make up 12 per cent of that figure.