The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has said it is “exploring” its Test head coach Brendon McCullum’s association with a betting company, in a possible breach of the board’s code of conduct.
The former New Zealand captain, who has led England’s resurgence in Test cricket since taking charge as its head coach last year, appears in advertisements for a Cyprus-registered online bookmaking company 22Bet India.
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The ECB’s anti-corruption codes ban players, coaches and officials from participating in or encouraging betting on matches.
“We are currently exploring the matter and in discussions with Brendon around his relationship with the Cypriot-based betting company, 22Bet,” an ECB spokesperson said in a statement on Friday.
“We have rules in place around gambling and will always seek to ensure these are followed.”
McCullum’s association with the company began before he took over the England job last year but he has been seen in the betting company’s recent YouTube advertisements around this year’s Indian Premier League.
However, Google has now pulled the advertisements featuring McCullum, according to New Zealand-based news channel 1News.
“Google has strict policies that govern the kind of ads we allow on our platform. In this instance, we’ve found the ads that violate our policies and we have removed them,” it quoted a Google spokesperson as saying.
The report added that Google allows gambling advertisements “only if they comply with its policies and the advertiser is a state-licensed entity in New Zealand”.
Earlier, a New Zealand-based support service for people affected by gambling lodged a complaint with the country’s Department of Internal Affairs over the advertisement saying it “legitimises and endorses the platform for Kiwi audiences”.
The advertisement shows McCullum declaring himself an ambassador for the betting site and urging cricket fans to sign up for the service.
McCullum’s agent has said the coach and the ECB are “working through it”.
“We are speaking to the ECB about this,” the agent told the Times newspaper in England.