Betting on sports is a popular pastime for many Aussies. We often enjoy wagering on matches, scores, futures and other options. But for the athletes that make those contests so entertaining, gambling is an absolute ‘No-no!‘. That’s what landed three Australian cricketers on the “ban” wagon earlier this week.
Hayley Jensen of the New Zealand Women and Corinne Hall of Canterbury Women, each owners of Women’s Big Bash League (WBBL) contracts, and Joel Logan of the Futures League in South Australia, were all banned from the sport this week after admitting to betting on cricket matches.
Each of the players received a 2 year ban from Cricket Australia. However, the two female players, Jensen and Hall, were provided 18 month suspensions, meaning they will only have to serve 6 months of their ban before returning to the field.
“Jensen and Hall are prohibited from participating in any form of cricket or cricket-related event for a period of six months until 21 October 2016,” confirmed Cricket Australia.
Logan, on the other hand, was given a full suspension, and will be able to return immediately.
According to Cricket Australia, Ms. Jensen confessed to placing a single bet on the first Test match between Australia and New Zealand in November 2015. Hall admitted placing a pair of bets last season on the men’s 1-Day domestics. Logan also fessed up to betting on sports on two occasions during the March 2015 World Twenty20 Tourney.
Cricket Australia confirmed that the full suspension of Logan’s ban was attributed to his match-by-match contract as a Futures League Player. The organization explained his the 2 year suspension as being due to “circumstances relating to his match contracts and the specific timing” of the wagers he placed.
For Hall and Jensen, however, being carriers of full WBBL contracts meant only a partial suspension on their bans.
While they will be allowed to continue playing long before their original 2 year bans are up – some sooner than others – they aren’t getting off ‘scot free’. All three must complete an anti-corruption player education course, administered by Cricket Australia, before they will be permitted to return to the field.
Zero-Tolerance for Betting on Sports
In a statement to the press, Iain Roy, Head of Integrity for Cricket Australia, said, “We take a proactive, zero-tolerance approach to maintaining the integrity of our sport and this includes any form of betting on cricket globally.”
In the same token, he spoke affably of the young athletes for willingly confessing their misconduct in betting on sports, and acquiescing to the due punishment for their actions.
“These players have accepted the seriousness of their errors and have voluntarily accepted their sanctions,” said Roy.
As for the bans and variable suspensions, he said, “This serves as a timely reminder to all players in cricket that the integrity of our game is a high priority and we won’t accept this being compromised.”
Crackdown on Cricketer’s Sports Betting
Cricket Australia’s crackdown against athletes betting on sports has been widespread recently. Back in February, women’s cricketer Piepa Cleary received a 6 month ban with 18 month suspension for placing 6 wagers, worth a grand total of $15.50, on a November 2015 men’s Test match between Australia and New Zealand.
Last December, Sydney women’s cricketer Angela Reakes also received a 2 year suspension for placing five wagers totaling $9 on the Man-Of-The-Match in the 2015 World Cup Finals.