Bell: Take away phones in county games

England

England batsman Ian Bell feels the measures taken to prevent match-fixing could be upped in County cricket, and wonders if taking away electronic devices would be a good preventative measure.

England batsman Ian Bell feels the measures taken to prevent match-fixing could be upped in County cricket, and wonders if taking away electronic devices would be a good preventative measure.

While cellphones, iPads and the like are taken from players before international televised games, County players are allowed to keep theirs, even if the games are on TV.

With recent allegations of corruption in English cricket, made by Lou Vincent, Bell thinks that strict controls may be required. While he hadn't seen evidence of wrong-doing, he feels it's better to be safe than sorry.

The Bears batsman said: "From where I can see, I haven't played one [on TV] for a while for Warwickshire, but it's just a normal county game. It's different internationally where you have to hand your phones in.

"In county games there is nothing. You could be on your phone all day if you want. Maybe if it is on television then it has to be the same as an international game.

"I've never seen it [fixing] at domestic level but then you hear what has been going on, not just in England but all around the world, there probably has to be a bit more done domestically as well."

Bell added: "It's frustrating to see it cropping again. Lou Vincent is saying that it's in five different countries that he's played in. That's unbelievable. You'd like to think we can get to the bottom of it but whether we will or not is a difficult one to answer.

"Seeing people getting the right penalties for a massive wrongdoing in the game, it's important that we have that. The harsher the penalties, the better.

"The last thing you want is to look back on games you've played in and have to ask 'was that real or was it not?' It takes away some of the feelings you have, when you look back and are not quite sure."

The ECB said they were happy with the levels of vigilance though, and didn't feel taking away phones and such would be necessary: "We don't feel the need to take away players' mobile phones or laptops at televised county matches.

"It is a judgement call made by the anti-corruption unit. We are constantly vigilant but don't believe corruption is endemic in county cricket. We take measures proportional to the level of threat," said a spokesman.

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