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Former ACU chief refutes Brendon McCullum's comments

Former ACU chief refutes Brendon McCullum's comments
Brendon McCullum was unhappy with ACU's casual approach in Chris Cairns' perjury trial.
©REUTERS / Action Images

The former general manager of the Anti-Corruption Unit (ACU) of the International Cricket Council (ICC) Ravi Sawani has defended the organisation after former New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum criticised their approach in the case of Chris Cairns.

McCullum, in the annual MCC Spirit of Cricket Cowdrey Lecture, said that the manner in which the ACU gathered evidence as he reported the approach made by Cairns was “casual”.

Reacting to this statement, Sawani reasoned that Cairns was not under the jurisdiction of the ICC as he was a part of the now-defunct and unauthorised Indian Cricket League (ICL).

Furthermore, Sawani said that since the ACU decided not to prosecute McCullum for the delay in reporting the incident, there was no requirement to record his statements.

“We could not have used any part of what McCullum had told us against Chris Cairns in any manner because Chris Cairns was not under the ICC jurisdiction at that moment,” Sawani told ESPNcricinfo.

“He [Cairns] was accused of doing something when he was part of the ICL operations.

“As per the ACSU code Cairns had not done anything in any ICC-controlled match so there was no necessity for us to prosecute Chris Cairns.

“Also, because we had taken a decision not to prosecute McCullum for the delay in reporting an approach, there was no requirement for recording McCullum’s statement in a detailed manner.”

McCullum, who was a witness in the Cairns perjury trial in 2015, said that the Metropolitan Police were “streets ahead” compared to the procedure of the ACU.

Once again, Sawani defended the ACU and said that the Metropolitan Police had to do a thorough recording of the statements as they had to follow the procedure laid down in English criminal law.

“The Met Police recorded his statement to criminally prosecute Chris Cairns and his lawyer (who was also acquitted) for certain offences as per the English law and obviously they went into great details as to what happened and exactly what was the cause of the statement that he had made and what happened thereafter,” Sawani said.

“It had to be evidence recorded as per the procedure prescribed in English criminal law and then used during criminal proceedings.”

Additionally, Sawani added that though McCullum had technically committed an offence by reporting the approach made by Cairns three years later, the ICC took a deliberate decision not to punish him.

“I took that decision that no action need be taken against Brendon McCullum,” Sawani said.

“McCullum was stating something three years late about an incident.

“No action was taken even though technically it was an offence.

“The player himself had come forward to report an approach about which we were not aware and it would have been stupid on our part to punish him for that.”

In his lecture, McCullum admitted that he was supposed to report Cairns’ approach as soon as it happened and urged other cricketers to report such corrupt approaches immediately.

© Cricket World 2016