Perth Scorchers Piepa Cleary has become the second Australian domestic player in recent months to be sanctioned for betting on a men’s cricket match – the recent “day-night” Test between Australia and New Zealand.
Betting on any cricket match is prohibited by the code of conduct which all top-level players in Australia are required to adhere to.
Late last year, Sydney Sixers Angela Reakes was handed a 2-year ban for placing bets of less than $10 on the men’s World Cup final; but this ban was “suspended” – meaning that in practice she is able to continue training and playing as normal.
Cleary has also been banned for 2 years, but in her case only the last 18 months are “suspended”, so she is actually banned for 6 months – a considerably harsher punishment than Reakes, justified by the fact that Cleary had attended face-to-face “anti-corruption” training earlier in the season.
Although the term of the actual ban is off-season and is unlikely to effect her participation in next season’s WNCL/ WBBL, it does mean that Cleary won’t be able to train or play with the Australian development squad – the Shooting Stars – of which she has recently been a part, including playing against England Academy in last year’s tour to Dubai.
This news is further evidence of Cricket Australia’s determination to hold top-level women’s domestic players to the same standards as their male counterparts – something that is perhaps a little easier in Australia than it would be in England because of the clearer distinction between what is (and is not) “top level”.
Middlesex captain Izzy Westbury – who has previously openly discussed betting on men’s cricket – gave her response on Twitter:
It is obviously a nuanced question, but one that should still give any English domestic player pause for thought. Betting on The Other Game might not be technically illegal for non-centrally-contracted players in England right now; but to be on the safe side, perhaps it might just be better to err on the side of caution?