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Cricket Australia: Big Bash betting corruption inevitable

Sat, Dec 3, 11:21am by Staff Writer

A betting corruption scandal in the Big Bash League is ‘imminent’ according to the man whose job it is to protect the integrity of the Twenty20 competition.

Cricket Australia senior legal counsel Iain Roy, who heads the Australian governing body’s corruption unit, has told the Herald Sun that it’s a matter of when not if, betting corruption infiltrates the competition.

Twenty20 leagues around the world have been subject to corruption related issues, with CA working hard to try and prevent players in the Australian league being influenced by those involved in illegal gambling.

However, Roy believes that such is the sophisticated nature of these operations, that it is as much about harm minimisation as it is about stopping it all together.

“It’s going to happen and like with any sport you’ve got to be prepared,” he said.

“Something big in Australian cricket is just around the corner and we’re just preparing ourselves as well as we can for the day that it comes.”

One of the weapons CA will use to foil corruption is the increased powers it has been given to prevent ‘pitchsiders’ from providing information to illegal bookmakers.

‘Pitchsiding’ is the practice of using a mobile device to transmit information about a game to bookmakers as a speed which is faster than the broadcast signal.

It gives these bookmakers, or anyone else who accesses the service, an edge in live betting markets.

Roy said that CA and the ICC now had the ability to search and download information from pitchsiders’ phones when they are seized.

It would allow them to detect text messages, phone numbers and emails from pitchsiders who sent match information overseas

“If that helps us and helps the ICC identify some of the operations that are putting pressure on betting markets in cricket and some of the people involved in cricket that’s got to be good,’’ he said. “It helps us defend Australia cricket from the risk of corruption.’’

The detection of pitchsiders has also been bolstered by increased training of security staff to detect the practice.

“Our biggest concern at the moment is most other domestic T20 competitions have had a whack in the last year or two years in a match-fixing or corruption sense,’’ Roy said. “You’ve got all this corruption stuff happening in T20 competitions outside Australia … the next frontier is for corrupters coming into Australia.’’

The Big Bash starts on December 20.

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