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‘Pitchsiders’ booted from BBL games as corruption fight grows

Thu, Jan 5, 12:18pm by Staff Writer

Cricket Australia has lived up to its promise to crackdown on ‘pitchsiders’ during the BBL matches with several people evicted from Hobart Hurricanes games during BBL 06.

CA senior legal counsel Iain Roy said before the tournament that the governing body’s anti- corruption unit were ever vigilant and expected betting corruption to be an ongoing challenge for the BBL, given the level of corruption of T20 competitions overseas.

CA was given increased powers to prevent ‘pitchsiders’ from operating at BBL games.

‘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.

Live betting on cricket in Australia will be officially made illegal with expected passage of the Interactive gambling Act Amendment Bill in early 2017.

CA was now able to search and seize devices which it suspected were being used in pitchsiding while security staff were now trained in detecting those operating the devices.

As recently as Monday, a person was escorted from Blundstone Arena during the BBL match between the Hobart Hurricanes and the Adelaide Strikers over apparent pitchsiding.

The Hobart Mercury also reported that up to five pitchsiders had recently been caught during a match at Blundstone Arena.

The Hobart venue has state of the art surveillance of fans and vecasue it is a smaller venue it is said to be much easier to spot pitchsiders,

A Cricket Australia spokeswoman said the evictions were evidence of the zero-tolerance approach to the practice,

“Australian cricket has a longstanding, proactive approach to sports integrity management,” the spokeswoman said.

Cricket Australia recently revealed that several young Australian cricketers had been contacted by international match fixers through social media.

Only last month, former South African Test batsman Alviro Petersen was banned from cricket for two years for failing to report a corrupt approach from a team-mate.

Petersen had been part of a conversation to fix matches in South Africa’s domestic T20 tournament and while he did not participate in any corrupt activities, his failure to disclose the conspiracy saw him booted out of the sport.

Former South African international, Gulam Bodi, was seen as the ringleader and was given a 20-year ban after he admitted charges of contriving or attempting to fix matches.

Thami Tsolekile (12 years), Pumelela Matshikwe (10 years), Ethy Mbhalati (10 years) and Jean Symes (seven years) were also banned.


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