County cricket February 17, 2004

Giddins linked to betting allegations

Wisden Cricinfo staff

Ed Giddins: at the centre of allegations

According to Tuesday's edition of The Guardian, Ed Giddins, the former Surrey and England seam bowler, is thought to be the man at the centre of gambling allegations, after it was revealed on Monday that the England & Wales Cricket Board is investigating claims that a player placed a bet on a county match.

Although the ECB refused to name either the player or the match concerned, The Guardian has pointed the finger at Giddins, who retired from county cricket at the end of last season. It is suggested that he stood to earn £7,000 after allegedly betting that Surrey would lose a Norwich Union League game against Northamptonshire in August 2002.

In the event, Giddins did not actually play in the match, although Northants nevertheless won by 102 runs on the Duckworth-Lewis method. Surrey had fielded a weak team because most of their first-team players were at Headingley, preparing for a C&G Trophy semi-final against Yorkshire.

"An allegation of betting has been made against a player," said Andrew Walpole, the ECB's media relations officer. "That matter is now in the hands of Gerard Elias, chairman of the disciplinary committee, and it is now up to him to make a decision."

ECB rules state that "no person may bet, whether directly or indirectly, for reward on any match, matches or series of matches, or any aspect of any match, matches, or series of matches". In the wake of cricket's match-fixing scandal, all international players, and all English county players, are required to sign an agreement to that effect. Rule-breakers face a ban of up to five years and an unlimited fine.

Giddins is no stranger to controversy. In August 1996, he was sacked by Sussex and banned for 18 months after traces of cocaine were found during a routine blood test. He later joined Warwickshire, and played four Tests for England between August 1999 and June 2000, taking a remarkable 5 for 15 against Zimbabwe at Lord's.