Thu, Jan 16, 8:48pm by Dominic Ciconte
Cricket Australia’s anti-corruption officers have been placed on high alert as an unprecedented amount of money has been placed on ‘live bets’ during the matches, raising match-fixing concerns.
According to figures compiled by the Courier Mail in Brisbane, global betting giant Betfair had taken on more than $573 million in bets on more than 20 Big Bash this season, prior to this week’s matches.
To put that figure into some incredible context, for the Melbourne Cup, Australia’s biggest annual event, the Melbourne Cup, attracted $6 million in bets with Betfair.
In addition to Betfair’s figures, a range of other corporate and online bookies in Australia and overseas have taken more than another $30 million in bets on Australia’s domestic T20 competition.
The surge in betting is attributed to the ability to put ‘live’ bets on the Big Bash games – where punters believe they have a better idea of selecting winners after seeing the matches unfold.
More than $20 million has been bet on all bar two of this season’s Big Bash games with an astonishing $47.6 million wagered in the game in which Perth Scorchers beat Hobart Hurricanes in Perth on January 7.
Cricket Australia’s anti-corruption team is now on high-alert because of all forms of the sport, 20/20 cricket is arguably the easiest to fix.
A CA spokesman said anti-corruption measures had been centralised and there were the same strict security measures in place for Big Bash matches as there were for international games.
There is at least one anti-corruption officer at each game and Big Bash players have to hand their mobile phones and communication devices in before play.
As part of new integrity systems, CA has also engaged an external bet monitoring company, Sportradar, to identify suspicious betting trends.
20/20 cricket has been under a cloud of controversy since former Indian fast bowler Sreesanth was arrested and banned from the sport last year after being found guilty of match fixing.
There was also a spate of bans for Pakistan test players in 2010 following a disgraceful ‘spot-ball betting’ fix.
Last year Cricket Australia integrity officers closely monitored spot-fixing allegations against former Hobart Hurricanes player Rana Naved, who was involved a Bangladesh Twenty20 tournament. Naved denied the allegations.
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