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It has been revealed that a fan was ejected during the rain-affected second ODI between India and England in Cardiff for relaying information to bookmakers in the subcontinent.
This sort of practice is commonly referred to as court-siding.
Chris Watts, who is the head of the England and Wales Cricket Board’s (ECB) anti-corruption unit told The Cricket Paper that betting markets can be manipulated by people who are actually at the game due to delayed feeds for televised matches.
Watts also confirmed that a fan had been thrown out by stewards for “breaching the ticket terms and conditions”.
It is understood that the man was using two laptops and a mobile phone during India’s innings before he was removed from the stadium.
As a result of the incident, it is likely that more ECB anti-corruption officers will be present during the last two ODIs.
Court-siding has happened in the UK before as nine people were thrown out of stadiums in 2013. However, that number has dropped since 2012 when 12 people were ejected.
“There have been several incidents of people being asked to leave for so-called court-siding,” Angus Porter, who is the chief executive of the Professional Cricketers’ Association, said. “The evidence we have points to high-profile matches that are televised in Asia when there’s an opportunity for people to beat the TV delay if the match is being broadcast on the Indian subcontinent.
“So they’re not necessarily corrupting the match itself but engaging in corrupt activity in the sense they are getting bookies fixing the odds before the events are seen on TV in India.”
This is yet another move by the ECB to clean up the game since match-fixing has become a big problem as of late.
Just this year, former Bangladesh captain Mohammad Ashraful admitted to fixing games in the 2013 edition of the Bangladesh Premier League (BPL). As a result of his heinous crimes, he was banned for eight years.
The other big match-fixing case involved ex-New Zealand batsman Lou Vincent, who recently confessed that he had fixed numerous matches. Despite helping out the International Cricket Council (ICC) with their investigation and providing them with vital information, Vincent was banned for life by the ECB.
In addition to that, the ECB called on Pakistan spinner Danish Kaneria to accept that he had been indicted in a match-fixing scandal. Kaneria was banned for life by the ECB in 2012, but has tried to appeal the verdict on numerous occasions. However, this has failed every single time and he is running out of options since he is allegedly close to being broke.
Finally, there is the world renowned case of the Pakistan trio who were banned for five years each, and even served time behind bars for attempting to fix a Test match against England at Lord’s in 2010. Former captain Salman Butt and the pace duo of Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Amir were all found guilty by judge Jeremy Cooke at Southwark Crown Court for conspiracy to cheat at gambling and conspiracy to accept corrupt payments.