News 21 May 2015

Indian cricketer escapes fine for breach of anti-corruption code

Indian Test captain Virat Kohli, who also captains the Royal Challengers Bangalore in the Indian Premier League (IPL), was found guilty of breaching a provision of the Board of Control for Cricket in India’s (BCCI) anti-corruption code, according to ESPN Cricinfo. Kohli met his girlfriend Anushka Sharma during the rain-break in an IPL match between Royal Challengers Bangalore and Delhi Daredevils on Sunday. Local reports said that the meeting between Kohli and Sharma was captured on live television by the IPL’s official broadcasters.

In meeting his girlfriend during the rain-break, Kohli breached Article 5.1.2(c) of the Players and Match Officials Area (PMOA) Minimum Standards, which states ‘whilst outside of the PMOA, the Player, Player Support Personnel or Match Official must only communicate with those third parties with whom he/she has permission to communicate and only engage in such communications as are necessary for the completion of such purposes as have been approved.’ The PMOA Minimum Standards were adopted by the BCCI in support of its Anti-Corruption Code, and are in force on the day of an IPL match until its conclusion.

Where a player is alleged to have breached Article 5.1, the breach must be reported by the International Cricket Council (ICC) Regional Security Manager to the ICC’s Anti-Corruption and Security Unit (ACSU) General Manager and the Director of the BCCI’s Anti-Corruption Unit (ACU), Ravi Sawani. The ICC’s ACSU is contracted by the BCCI to provide anti-corruption cover during the IPL. The BCCI’s Sawani is then mandated to write to the player seeking an explanation for the alleged breach, with the explanation to be provided within a period of forty eight hours. On receipt of an explanation, the ACU Director has the authority to determine whether there has been a breach of the Article and where any breach has been found, the player is to receive a fine of INR 100,000 (€1,400).

It is understood that Kohli was informed of the violation by ACU Director Sawani but did not receive a fine as the infringement was found to be minor. According to local reports, BCCI Secretary Anurag Thakur told a press conference on Wednesday that the BCCI had followed the necessary protocols, stating that no player is deemed to be ‘above the game’. He said that whatever the rules of the game say, investigations would happen according to those rules and that this has always been the case.

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