Sydney: Former Australian captain Steve Waugh has disclosed that at least 56 cricketers reported receiving illegal approaches from bookies last year, while the International Cricket Council (ICC) recorded only five similar reports in 2009.
Waugh, who retired from international cricket in 2004, these days plays a pivotal role to eliminating illegal betting from international cricket. He is currently a member of the MCC’s world cricket committee.
The ICC has an anti-corruption and security unit, the body to which players can report suspicious approaches.
Waugh, 46, has suggested lie-detector tests would be a good way to catch culprits and also serve as a deterrent. He has taken the polygraph test himself.
“I don’t know if the ICC is doing enough,” he told the BBC Sport. “I’d like to have some conversations with them.
“They are doing some good work because last year 56 players reported an approach by a bookmaker and the year before it was only five, so that suggests the players have confidence in the system and that it will work.
“By taking the lie-detector test I wanted to get the message out there that I was prepared to do this and I saw that (England captain) Andrew Strauss said he was prepared to do one if required too.
“It’s totally voluntary and it’s not about going over the past, it’s about moving forward.”
Waugh also called for lifetime bans for captains caught offending and wanted the sport’s biggest names to back him up.
“Any captain found guilty should have a lifetime ban because they set the tone and values of the side,” Waugh said. “If they are doing something wrong it’s a lot easier for the younger kids to get involved in it.
“How can the public get some confidence back? People have been caught only by accident over the years, which only goes to show it’s very hard to prove and catch people.
“So, let’s go the other way, let’s be positive about it, have people who are ambassadors for the game and are willing to sign these statements and, if required, back it up with a polygraph.”