The England Cricket Board (ECB) has banned players from wearing smartwatches on the field of play for all fixtures. The move comes in to ensure stricter anti-corruption guidelines to prevent match fixing. Earlier, players were allowed to wear smartwatches on the field of play under the provision that communication or data transmission facilities would be switched off in televised games.
The England Cricket Board has banned smartwatches on the field of play to ensure the integrity of players and prevent any match fixing scenarios through technology. The ECB regulations have been toughened, meaning that smartwatches are completely banned in televised games and are only authorised in the players' and match officials' areas like the dressing rooms, balconies, dugouts and in non-televised games.
The change in ECB regulations comes in after England spinner Matt Parkinson revealed that he had found out about his England call-up via a notification on his team-mate Steven Croft's smartwatch. While the players in question did not violate any anti-corruption policies in that instance, the ECB is hopeful that stricter regulations will curb the spread of match fixing.
Smartwatches have been banned in international cricket for many years. Pakistan cricketers Asad Shafiq and Hasan Ali were advised by anti-corruption officials to remove them during a Lord's test match in 2018. In the case of televised domestic matches, players and officials are required to submit their phones and other such devices at the start of play, which are subsequently locked away and returned at the end of play.
The coronavirus pandemic has hit England cricket dearly and the ECB, as a precautionary measure, has postponed the start of ticket sales of the much anticipated The Hundred. The UK lockdown has affected the preparations for the tournament and many suggest that the ECB might postpone The Hundred from its original July schedule. It is reported that the England Cricket Board will commence the sale of tickets post the UK lockdown.