Team suspended from European T10 league amid corruption concerns
Organisers considered abandoning match at innings break due to suspicions
A team has been suspended from a T10 league pending an anti-corruption investigation, after concerns over suspicious behaviour meant consideration was given to abandoning one of their fixtures at the innings break.
Limassol Gladiators, one of the five teams in the European Cricket Series Cyprus, have been suspended following their match against Amdocs on July 21. At least one major betting company is refusing to pay out on the match, which was streamed on various platforms around the world.
Up to $2 million is believed to have been traded on the match on Betfair alone. When other markets - legal and illegal - are included, that figure could be multiplied many times.
The suspicions of the ICC's Anti-Corruption Unit (ACU) were first raised by suspicious betting patterns ahead of the game.
Amdocs (a telecoms company with a base in Cyprus) had not won in more than a year, but the market clearly had expectations of their success.
While Amdocs have twice conceded in excess of 100 in recent matches, Gladiators managed only 79 for 4 from their 10 overs. In reply, Amdocs were 14 for 3 after two overs but benefited from some remarkably poor bowling to win in 7.1 overs. One over included six wides, one of which went down the legside to the boundary.
One trader told ESPNcricinfo: "It was the most blatant, unsubtle and stupid incident of fixing I've ever seen."
The ICC have confirmed to ESPNcricinfo that their anti-corruption unit is taking a close look at the match. In the meantime, Limassol Gladiators will play no further part in any European Cricket Network competitions. One insider suggested their records would also be expunged and the tournament schedule redrawn for the remaining teams. There is no suggestion that Amdocs players were aware of any wrongdoing.
Before the tournament, Steve Richardson, the ICC's ACU coordinator, had tweeted that the onus was on boards to provide "the right education and governance" for their players, and said that when minor short-form leagues were the only fixtures being played, "it's not a question of 'maybe corruptors will get involved'. They will, simple."
The European Cricket Network (ECN), which runs the European Cricket League and various European Cricket Series events including the Cyprus T10, announced last month that it had "bolstered its own internal anti-corruption team" which continuing to partnership with the ICC's ACU. The ECN is yet to comment on the Limassol v Amdocs match.
George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo