Hobart Hurricanes wicketkeeper Emily Smith has been banned for 12 months, with nine suspended, by Cricket Australia under the sport’s anti-corruption code.
Smith had posted the Hurricanes’ final line-up for their November 2 contest against the Sydney Thunder on her personal Instagram page, an hour before it was to be officially released through official channels.
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Cricket Australia’s anti-corruption code prevents players from ‘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.’
The Hurricanes’ match with the Thunder was washed out without a ball being bowled.
Cricket Australia head of security and integrity, Sean Carroll, acknowledged that Smith had not set out to break the anti-corruption code, but that standards expected of players in this area had to be met.
“Whilst Cricket Australia acknowledges that at the time of posting the team line-up there was no intent to breach the Anti-Corruption Code, 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,” he said.
“We have been working with Emily throughout the process and Emily now understands the mistake she made.
“Unfortunately, in this instance Emily's actions breached the Anti-Corruption Code.
“We hope this serves as reminder to all that the Anti-Corruption Code is critical to protecting the integrity of the game."
However, some fans have viewed the ban as being too harsh, particularly considering the game was washed out.
Cricket Australia’s anti-corruption code allows for each case to be considered ‘on its own set of facts and the particular circumstances’, but some felt the penalty was still beyond what was necessary.
Washout leads to ‘comedy of errors’
Australian Cricketers’ Association boss Alistair Nicholson told the Daily Telegraph that Smith’s ban had come about after players and officials ‘let their guard down’ due to the rain delay.
According to the Telegraph, rainy conditions and the high likelihood the game wasn’t going to be played had led team staff to tell players they could use their phones in places where they would otherwise be prohibited.
“In the context of a washed out day people dropped their guard and there was a comedy of errors all around,” Nicholson said.
“However the integrity of the game is important – and Emily has accepted her sanction.
“She will learn from this – as we hope will others.”