Dunedin, New Zealand:The International Cricket Council will send its anti-corruption unit to next year's under-19 World Cup to help protect the integrity of the game's future stars.
ICC chief executive Haroon Lorgat on Monday said the threat of match fixing was not confined to the elite level.
"We don't want to be complacent and be caught off guard," Lorgat said during the launch of the 16-team tournament Monday in Dunedin, the New Zealand Press Association reported. "We do realize from research we've done that these corrupt individuals start at an early stage in terms of trying to befriend the young and new and unsuspecting players. They will attempt to get into their heads."
The under-19 World Cup will run Jan. 15-30 in New Zealand. And while Lorgat didn't offer examples of any previous corruption at the junior event, he said: "It's prevention rather than trying to cure a problem."
The ICC set up its anti-corruption unit in 2000 in the wake of match-fixing scandals which rocked the game and included allegations against former South Africa captain Hansie Cronje among other prominent players.
Cronje admitted taking money to influence matches. He later died in an air crash.
A host of star players have been tangled up with bookmakers. Australian stars Shane Warne and Mark Waugh were fined in 1998 for accepting money to provide pitch information to an Indian bookmaker during a limited-overs competition in Sri Lanka in 1994.
The ICC set up a dedicated security department earlier this year following a terror attack on the Sri Lankan team en route to a Test match against Pakistan at Lahore, which left players injured and killed a driver and six police.
Lorgat said that organizers in New Zealand would have to implement the full range of security measures for the under-19 World Cup, despite the country being in the low risk category for terror attacks.
"We don't take it lightly any longer _ we've seen what happens," Lorgat said.