12 Dec

Chris Wood, the Hampshire left-arm seamer, has been handed a two-month suspended ban following an investigation by the ECB's Anti-Corruption Unit (ACU) into his betting activities. 

Wood, who was this week handed a one-year extension to his white-ball contract at Hampshire, admitted back in April that he had been suffering from an 11-year gambling addiction. 

In the course of his addiction, Wood was found to be in breach of the ECB's Anti-Corruption Code, and pleaded guilty to charges relating to a total of nine bets placed on cricket matches in 2011 (two bets) and 2016 (seven bets). By admitting responsibility for his actions and fully cooperating with the investigation, Wood enabled the ECB to take several mitigating factors into account in reaching an agreed sanction, which was then ratified by the Cricket Discipline Commission, chaired by Tim O'Gorman. 

"At the time of the offences Wood was suffering from a gambling disorder," said an ECB statement. "He has since sought help and has spoken publicly about the issues he has faced and is providing advice and assistance to others experiencing problems with or addiction to gambling, both inside and outside of sport." 

"I want to apologise for the mistakes I made in 2011 and 2016, it is something I deeply regret," Wood said in a joint statement with the Professional Cricketers' Association (PCA). "While I played no part in any of the games that I placed bets on, I totally understand the rules that I am not permitted to bet on cricket, under any circumstance. 

"My gambling addiction had complete control over my life to the extent I would do something I never thought I would in placing a bet on a game of cricket. I had no regard to the consequences of my actions. I want to add I had no direct involvement in any game or did I try and influence the outcome of any match." 

Ian Thomas, the PCA Director of Development and Welfare, added: "The integrity of professional cricket is vital for everyone within the game and today's outcome shows how seriously this is taken. Any breach of the anti-corruption code needs to be investigated with appropriate sanctions for perpetrators and the PCA has been involved in the process. 

"The PCA and ECB take anti-corruption very seriously and every single player has to complete mandatory training in this area before they are registered to play professional cricket in England and Wales. 

Wood's two-month period of ineligibility is suspended for two years, and will be triggered should he be found to have relapsed in that timeframe. However, he insists that he has learned from his mistakes, and will be helping others to do the same. 

"Over the past two years through the support of the PCA, Professional Cricketers' Trust and Sporting Chance I have turned my life around and I have not gambled for over two years," he said. "I revealed this disease I am battling earlier this year with the aim to help others, not just in cricket but in any sport or walk of life and I hope my journey can help others reach out for support”. 

John Stephenson 


#Cricketnews #HampshireCCC #ECB #ACU #PCA

* The email will not be published on the website.