Victorian cricket authorities are on guard as local matches become the focus of international betting. A Mornington Peninsula game that ended in a tie is under scrutiny, writes PAUL AMY.
Victorian cricket authorities are on guard as local matches become the focus of international betting.
Cricket Victoria chief executive Nick Cummins said the rise of live streaming of community cricket was posing “integrity issues’’ for the game.
His comments came as a local association referred speculation about the result of a recent Twenty20 match to Cricket Victoria and Cricket Australia.
The Mornington Peninsula Cricket Association confirmed to CODE Sports that it was aware the game had become a talking point among clubs and players.
An overseas online betting company ran a book on the match, which finished as a tie.
“We have heard about it. It’s been referred to Cricket Victoria and Cricket Australia,’’ association president Stephen Morone said on Monday.
“As far as we’re concerned … nothing that we can say is a problem, but that’s all I can really tell you.
“There’s nothing there to suggest that there’s been an issue, that we’re aware of.
“We’ve referred everything to Cricket Victoria.’’
Morone said he learned only recently that overseas betting agencies were offering odds on some Mornington Peninsula association Twenty20 games.
Since last Friday, one company has posted a market for an MPCA match that will be played on Tuesday night.
Another has odds for this week’s Australian male Under 19 championships.
Cummins said national officials spoke last week about the issue of betting on local cricket.
Stressing that he was speaking generally and not specifically about the contact from the Mornington Peninsula association, he said cricket needed to be watchful about “integrity issues’’.
“We do have some concerns around the impact of live streaming of community cricket and it’s something we’ll spend some time with the government over in the next few months, examining and looking for a way to ensure cricket is protected,’’ Cummins said.
“Without rushing to solutions straight away, it’s certainly not a case of prohibiting live streaming.
“We think live streaming is really good for community sport but there could be something like having a delay … to ensure it’s not truly live, but is in fact delayed to a point that it makes it uncompetitive or unsuitable to punters for use.
“We’ll work through that once we’ve spoken to the State Government.’’
Cummins said a delay in live streaming would discourage in-play betting.
He said he had been concerned for some time about the risks of games being broadcast in real-time.
Cummins said it appeared that betting on Victorian Premier and local cricket appeared to be limited to two overseas websites.
“But of course they’re the public-facing ones. Obviously the biggest issues with integrity are illegal bookmakers, not regulated bookmakers.
“It’s not necessarily just those advertised on the internet.
“It’s a complex situation … and just because games are being live streamed it doesn’t necessarily follow there is spot-fixing. But we need to make sure we create an environment that’s safe for our community clubs and that they can play with confidence.’’
The Cricket Victoria boss said that he was unsure how long betting agencies had been running markets on Premier and local cricket, “but it does seem new’’ and was probably related to the increasing use of live streaming.
Cricket Victoria has made Cricket Australia aware of the contact from the Mornington Peninsula association, which came after Cummins spoke about integrity issues at a CEO’s conference last week.
“I said I was mindful that with the rise of live streaming of community sport comes the risk of integrity matters that previously haven’t been a concern at that level,” Cummins said.
“Because the reality is, betting markets betting on community cricket does pose an integrity risk, and it’s incumbent on cricket’s administrators to understand that risk and come up with ways to mitigate it.’’
In Australia, it is illegal to bet online on in-play sport.
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