Betting exchange in move to keep cricket clean

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Betting exchange Betfair has struck a pivotal deal with the International Cricket Council in an effort to curb illegal gambling.

The two have signed a memorandum of understanding that will allow the ICC's anti-corruption and security unit greater access to the data held by Betfair. In particular, it will be able to request information identifying specific individuals using the online exchange if it believes corruption is occurring.

The agreement is the latest in a series of deals struck between Betfair and sporting bodies, including the Jockey Club, the Darts Regulation Authority and the Association of Tennis Professionals. A Betfair spokesman said it was "the best way to ensure that sport is kept free of crime".

The bookmaking community has long criticised betting exchanges, which allow punters to lay and match bets online. They claim unscrupulous operators are using the sites to gamble on events where they already know the result. Betfair and other exchanges deny this is happening, even saying their model allows for greater transparency.

Bookies also claim exchanges are unfairly eating into their own margins. Exchanges pay the same specialist taxes and sports levies as bookmakers, but their punters, which act as bookies by laying and matching bets, do not.

In the recent Australia-India series, Betfair reported £20m of turnover on cricket alone.