Limassol Gladiators, one of the five teams in the European Cricket Series Cyprus, have been suspended from the European T10 league pending anti-corruption investigation. Concerns were raised over the team’s suspicious behaviour in their match against Amdocs on Monday, July 21.
Betting market reportedly indicated expectations of a victory for Amdocs, the team that had not won a fixture in more than a year. According to an ESPNCricinfo report, around $2 million is believed to have been traded on the match on Betfair alone. Figure would increase in multiples taking other legal and illegal betting platforms into consideration.
The ICC Anti-Corruption Unite became active over suspicious betting patterns ahead of the game.
Amdocs, a telecoms company with a base in Cyprus, had twice conceded more than 100 runs in recent matches. But the Gladiators managed only 79 for 4 from their 10 overs. Amdocs chase was no less dramatic. Having lost three wickets for 14 runs in two overs, they were allowed to come back into the game with some pathetic bowling, which included six wides in one over with the one going to the fence down the legs.
“It was the most blatant, unsubtle and stupid incident of fixing I’ve ever seen,” the website has quoted a trader as saying.
The ICC have confirmed that their anti-corruption unit is taking a close look at the match.
Limassol Gladiators have been barred from playing in any European Cricket Network competitions. Their records would reportedly also be expunged and the tournament schedule redrawn for the remaining teams.
Before the tournament, Steve Richardson, the ICC’s ACU coordinator, 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 continuing to partnership with the ICC’s ACU. The ECN is yet to comment on the Limassol v Amdocs match.
There is no suggestion that Amdocs players were aware of any wrongdoing.