The International Cricket Council (ICC) has lifted a ban on gambling sports sponsorships during test matches and one day internationals (ODIs), according to multiple reports.
- Betting shirt sponsorships still to be banned at major ICC tournaments, including the Cricket World Cup
- The Times reports England teams will not be allowed to wear gambling logos on shirts or equipment, due to restrictions enforced in the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB)’s anti-corruption code
- Decision set to be agreed by the ICC’s Chief Executives Committee during meetings in March
The reaction to the ICC’s decision is expected to be divisive, given the threat of match-fixing to the sport. It raises difficult questions for the ECB, which is currently investigating England test cricket head coach Brendon McCullum for his links to an online betting platform. In India, sports betting remains illegal, suggesting the u-turn in policy is unlikely to affect their teams.
Other countries may be more receptive to the change, with bookmaker Betway currently a sponsor of Cricket South Africa and Cricket West Indies.
Bet365 is also a partner of Cricket Australia (CA), although an ongoing parliamentary inquiry into the role of online gambling in sport will deter the federation from adding the betting company to its kit any time soon.
Once confirmed by the ICC, expect a series of deals to be struck between national cricket boards and betting firms around the world eager to capitalise on the opening of a new revenue stream.