Warnings over Women’s Ashes being targeted by match-fixers
Senior figures in world cricket have warned of the growing threat of corruption within the “vulnerable” women’s game, with an explosion in interest making it more attractive to fixers.
The warnings come in the wake of a successful World Cup and as England prepare in Australia for the Women’s Ashes, which begins on 22 October. Tony Irish, the chief executive of international cricket’s players’ association, warned that the women’s game is particularly at risk.
“Women’s cricket is receiving more attention and is more and more on TV so it is likely to be targeted,” Irish said, expressing concern about how the quality of anticorruption measures differs between nations. “As with the men’s game there are very different standards of anti-corruption education received by women across the world.”
In July, the Women’s World Cup final at Lord’s had £78m traded on it on Betfair – 8.5 times more than the 2013 final. More than 150 different operators worldwide offered betting markets for the tournament, according to sports data company Sportradar. So far in 2017, the sums bets on women’s cricket with Ladbrokes are 43% greater than in all of 2016, with the Ashes still to come. Industry insiders have highlighted how the extra liquidity in betting markets for women’s cricket is creating potential opportunities for corruptors.
Irish called on the International Cricket Council to do more to safeguard the integrity of the sport for both genders. “There is no global education programme for players, either men or women, and not much appetite from the ICC to introduce one. That’s a huge concern for us, especially with more and more men and women moving around the world playing in different domestic competitions.”
The ICC’s anti-corruption unit is in charge of monitoring international cricket across both genders, and was an active presence at the Women’s World Cup. But