At the start of the month we analysed the International Cricket Council’s decision to ban Shakib Al Hasan (Bangladesh’s captain)(“Mr. Hasan”) from all cricket for two years (with one year of that suspended). He had accepted three charges of breaching the ICC Anti-Corruption Code in respect of a number of fixtures. We now briefly highlight a decision that has stemmed from Australia in the Women’s Big Bash League (“WBBL”). An altogether different example to the previous matter but one which exemplifies the serious consequences faced by players, no matter how outwardly trivial the breach may appear.
Emily Smith (“Ms. Smith”), who plays for Hobart Hurricanes was banned for 12 months (9 months suspended) from all cricket for posting a team line-up on her Instagram roughly an hour before it was permitted. She had posted a video on her Instagram account from the restricted Players and Match Officials Area which included her team’s line-up. The match was meant to be played on the 2 November 2019 but was rained off.
Article 2.3 of Cricket Australia’s Anti-Corruption Code addresses ‘Misuse of Inside Information’. Ms. Smith accepted a sanction for breaching Article 2.3.2 which involves, ‘Disclosing Inside Information to any person (with or without Reward) where the Participant knew or might reasonably have known that such disclosure might lead to the information being used in relation to Betting in relation to any Match or Event.’
Many might consider this ban to be excessive, particularly given that Cricket Australia’s (“CA”) head of integrity and security Sean Carroll (“Mr. Caroll”) acknowledged that, at the time of posting the video, Ms. Smith had no intent to breach the code. On the face of it this appears to be a complete mistake and one that surely merits any such suspension to be completely suspended.
However, Mr. Carroll noted that, ‘CA’s rigorous anti-corruption player education program means that players are well aware of their obligations under the Anti-Corruption Code and there is no excuse for breaches regardless of the reasons for information being disclosed.’ This is important. We saw in the case of Mr. Hasan that one of the aggravating factors against him included the fact that he had participated in numerous anti-corruption education sessions.
As was noted in our article on Mr. Hasan, ‘The Hundred’ is just around the corner. The case of Ms. Smith is another example of the potential issues that those involved in anti-corruption within the sport will be looking out for.