Eight illegal players kicked out of cricket matches in first fortnight of SA20

EXCLUSIVE: Eight illegal players are kicked out of cricket matches in the first fortnight of the SA20 competition over corruption concerns – with a UK-based player boasting of £3.8million career earnings

  • A Sportsmail investigation has unearthed details of an anti-corruption operation
  • Cricket South Africa cracks down on opening fortnight of SA20 competition
  • Eight illegal players, two from England, have been kicked out of T20 matches

Eight illegal players, including two from England, have been kicked out of Twenty20 matches in South Africa in the first fortnight of the SA20 competition over corruption concerns.

A sports mail The inquiry has shed details of Cricket South Africa’s anti-corruption operation at the new franchise tournament, which aims primarily to crack down on criminal gangs who are exploiting poor workers to fuel India’s £100 billion-a-year illegal gambling industry serve.

The group stage of SA20 featured English stars like Jos Buttler and Jofra Archer alongside top South Africans Kagiso Rabada and Quinton de Kock, a combination that has attracted the country’s first sell-out crowd for domestic matches in a generation.

Eight illegal players have been kicked out of T20 matches in South Africa in the first two weeks of the new SA20 competition, for which icon Graeme Smith (right) is League Commissioner

Eight illegal players have been kicked out of T20 matches in South Africa in the first two weeks of the new SA20 competition, for which icon Graeme Smith (right) is League Commissioner

But the glitz and glamor belies a shadier side of the tournament. After spending time with CSA’s anti-corruption officers at several of the competition’s six venues, sports mail can reveal:

– Eight players have been ejected from matches for illegally practicing field confinement – leaking live match information from stadiums to bookies without a license – including two from England, three from India and three from Bangladesh, although anti-corruption officials say they were that the actual numbers are much higher.

– The displaced Indian and Bangladeshi players were employed by criminal gangs based in the subcontinent, who pay them a daily rate of around £50 plus room and board in return for live commentary on the game, allowing them to share information and data get ahead of the big gambling operators and beat the markets.

– Individual players can make millions from field changes, with one of the UK-based players being sacked by anti-corruption officials and openly showing them his career earnings, which totaled £3.8m.

Field parking is prohibited at all sports venues as illegal gambling operators have a time advantage of up to 10 seconds over those who rely on television pictures and can greatly distort betting markings.

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A sports mail The probe has unearthed details of Cricket South Africa’s anti-corruption operation at the new franchise tournament, targeting criminal gangs exploiting poor workers

Anti-corruption officials have also said sports mail that there is considerable evidence that people who start pitching pitches are tricked into acting as go-betweens to facilitate corruption and spot-fixing, particularly those employed by criminal gangs.

During SA20, those caught on the sidelines for the first time were kicked out of the stadium and given a ban from all other seats. Those guilty of a second offense were handed over to South African police and charged with trespassing for breaching the terms of a previous ban.

Whilst there are a few individuals who practice pitch siding for personal gain, like the England player boasting of his £3.8m winnings, the majority are paid for by illegal gambling syndicates.

At lesser-attended T20 events in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, it’s common to see large groups of men openly pitchside with multiple phones, but with limited resources devoted to fighting corruption, the offense remains difficult to prove.

Anti-corruption officials have estimated that there are around 100,000 bookmakers operating illegally in India, with sports betting mostly focused on cricket.

The group stage of SA20 featured high profile England stars such as Jos Buttler and Jofra Archer (pictured). There is also no indication that they are involved in criminal activities

The group stage of SA20 featured high profile England stars such as Jos Buttler and Jofra Archer (pictured). There is also no indication that they are involved in criminal activities

There are no betting shops or legal operators, so there is no way to track bets as every bet and financial transaction is done digitally.

“There’s a lot of money to be made,” said a CSA official sports mail. “One of the UK lads we evicted was happy to show us his lifetime earnings which was £3.8million. I’m not sure how long he’s been playing, but that’s a lot of money.

“In big tournaments, it’s very difficult to spot pitchsiders because the stadiums are packed and most spectators are on their cell phones all the time anyway. The number of people caught probably represents only a fraction of those actively involved in illegal gambling.

“A lot of people start out as pitchsiders and then become corrupters when they see the potential for even bigger revenue. Our job is primarily to ensure that players are not approached by these people.

“We have a zero tolerance policy and anyone suspected of illegal gambling or suspicious activity will be ejected from the stadium.”

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https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/cricket/article-11674691/Eight-illegal-gamblers-thrown-cricket-matches-fortnight-SA20.html?ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490&ito=1490 Eight illegal players kicked out of cricket matches in first fortnight of SA20

Maureen Mackey

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