Following on from yesterday’s news that a second Australian domestic player has been sanctioned for betting on The Other Game* the question was raised as to whether similar regulations actually applied to domestic players in the women’s game in England.
Before I get into it, I feel compelled to state that I am not a lawyer. (I’ve never even played one on TV!) So what follows does not in any way constitute legal advice.
The code itself is pretty clear about betting itself. The following are offences under the code:
2.2.1 Placing, accepting, laying or otherwise entering into any Bet with any other party (whether individual, company or otherwise) in relation to the result, progress, conduct or any other aspect of any Match.
2.2.2 Directly or indirectly soliciting, inducing, enticing, instructing, persuading, encouraging, intentionally facilitating or authorising any other party to enter into a Bet in relation to the result, progress, conduct or any other aspect of any Match.
The question is… who does this code apply to? Does it apply to women’s county players? This is where it gets a bit more tangled!
Although a “Match” is defined as any cricket match… from village to Test; there is another term which comes into play here: “Domestic Match” which means any First Class or List A match – i.e. not women’s county matches.
This is important because the code applies firstly to “any ECB-registered cricketer… who… is selected… to participate in a Domestic Match”. This therefore would appear to explicitly exclude all women, other than those who have played international cricket who are definitely covered under other clauses.
So, if your only involvement is as a county player, it seems clear that you are not subject to the code of conduct.
However, there is an additional, secondary clause, which states that the code also applies to: “any other person who… is employed by, [or] represents… [a] team… [that] that participates in Domestic Matches.”
This suggests that if you are employed by or “represent” a First Class county then the code applies – something which may well cover several prominent county players via their day jobs or even voluntary activities.
Of course, there has to be some elasticity here – for example as written, the code would appear to apply to a lab tech on work experience in the physics department at Oxford University, because their cricket team have First Class status… but not the coach of the Berkshire men’s team, because they are not “First Class”.
So the answer is… it’s complicated.
The bottom line here is that the ECB probably need to clarify exactly what the situation here is for women’s domestic players, particularly with the introduction of the Super League, which as things currently stand would not appear to be covered; and provide appropriate advice and training to players. Because as answers go… we’ll be the first to acknowledge that “it’s complicated” really isn’t a very good one!
* Yes… we are going to keep calling it that!!