Man evicted from Test for ‘pitch-siding’

A man who had been relaying information to offshore bookmakers while watching the first Test has been evicted from Adelaide Oval.

The man is understood to have been using three mobile phones for what is known as 'pitch-siding' during Friday's play between Australia and India.

Australia’s Travis Head during the first Test on Friday. Credit:James Elsby

Pitch-siding, or court-siding, is a practice where someone at a sporting event uses a delay of up to 12 seconds between live action and television broadcasts to provide information to bookmakers to manipulate betting markets.

A Cricket Australia spokesman told AAP the evicted man had been banned for three years from attending all matches under CA's jurisdiction.

The spokesman would not provide further information about the incident.

Pitch-siding is not illegal but the man's actions breached the terms and conditions of his entry ticket for the first Test, leading to his ban.

The man was understood to have initially attracted attention while sitting on Adelaide Oval's grassed hill area because he was wearing a jacket and long pants in 39-degree temperatures.

Seven News reported the man wasn't speaking English.

Officials concluded he was pitch-siding, a tactic widely used in world sport to give bookmakers details of live action before television coverage is broadcast.

The practice of pitch-siding has been uncovered at cricket games in Australia before, with a man evicted for the act during a 2016 one-day international between Australia and New Zealand in Canberra.

In 2014, a British national was evicted from two separate Big Bash League games in Australia for pitch-siding.

The then 30-year-old man had been evicted for using a laptop computer to pitch- side at two BBL games in Sydney in a seven-day span.

In England, pitch-siding at cricket has been known and monitored for years.

The England and Wales Cricket Board said in 2013 it had evicted 23 individuals for suspected pitch-siding during that summer of cricket.

The practice has also been widely detected in tennis, where it's referred to as court-siding.

At the Australian Open in 2014, a British man was arrested for court-siding – he allegedly had an electronic device sewn into his shorts to relay scores to a betting syndicate, but the charges were later withdrawn.

And at the 2016 US Open, tennis authorities said 20 spectators who had been caught court-siding had been banned for 20 years from attending the tournament.


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