The dreaded shadow of corruption has loomed on Cricket once again. Limassol Gladiators, who are one of the five teams to take part in the European T10 Cricket Series Cyprus, have been suspended following their match against Amdocs on July 21.
At least one major betting company is refusing to pay out on the match, which was streamed on various platforms around the world. Up to $2 million is believed to have been traded on the match on Betfair alone. When other markets, legal and illegal, are included, that figure could be multiplied many times.
Amdocs, who haven’t tasted victory in over a year, have conceded over a 100 runs twice in their recent fixtures. But, the game against the Gladiators had a different pattern to it. Batting first, Gladiators could manage only 79 for the loss of four wickets in their 10 overs. Amdocs punished some atrocious bowling from the Gladiators to win the game with almost 3 overs to spare, after being reduced to 14/3 in the first two overs. One over included six wides, including one that drifted down leg, flew past the keeper and crossed the rope. The series of events raised suspicions among the members of the ICC’s Anti-Corruption unit.
An anonymous trader told ESPNCricinfo, “It was the most blatant, unsubtle and stupid incident of fixing I’ve ever seen.”
As per reports from ESPNcricinfo, the ICC confirmed that their anti-corruption unit is looking into the match. In the meantime, Limassol Gladiators have been barred from taking further part in any European Cricket Network competitions. One insider suggested their records would also be wiped out and the tournament rescheduled for the remaining teams. But, there is no suggestion that the Amdocs players were aware of any wrongdoing.
Before the tournament, ICC’s ACU coordinator Steve Richardson had tweeted that the onus was on boards to provide “the right education and governance” for their players, and said that when minor short-form leagues were the only fixtures being played, “it’s not a question of ‘maybe corruptors will get involved’. They will, simple.”
The European Cricket Network (ECN), which runs the European Cricket League and various European Cricket Series events including the Cyprus T10, announced last month that it had “bolstered its own internal anti-corruption team” which is continuing to partnership with the ICC’s ACU. They are yet to share their views on the game between the Gladiators and Amdocs.