Ninemsn Moves Aussie Cricket Site Overseas

17 December 2003

Baggy Green, the official Web site for Australian cricket, has moved its Internet server from Australia to the United Kingdom. Spokespersons for the group claim they made the move to give users faster downloads and better performance, but The Australian revealed Monday that the Australian Federal Police (AFP) had received orders to investigate the site for allegedly placing online gambling advertisements.

Baggy Green, which can be accessed at, is operated by Ninemsn, a 50/50 venture between the Microsoft Corporation and Publishing and Broadcasting Limited (PBL), one of Australia's leading media companies. Ninemsn is part of the Microsoft Global network and claims that its vast network of Internet sites is Australia's top Web destination, with over 6 million monthly visitors.

The extensive Baggy Green site provides official cricket statistics, live updates, news, video and more.

Australia's Department of Communications, IT, and the Arts (DCITA) in May asked the AFP to investigate Baggy Green for allegedly displaying gambling advertisements, a violation of the country's Interactive Gaming Act of 2001.

The AFP did not to investigate the matter, however, due to a lack of resources.

According to an AFP spokesperson, "The AFP is not resourced to investigate every complaint made and must decide whether to allocate resources . . . and in this case it was determined it would not be investigated."

Nonetheless, Ninemsn moved the Baggy Green Web site from its former home in Adelaide with hosting provider Hostworks and transferred it to a location in the United Kingdom. The Baggy Green site is still located at the same URL and appears to be unchanged; only the physical hardware of the site has moved.

Ngaire Moyes, a spokeswoman for Ninemsn, claims the move was made in coordination with Baggy Green's partner Cricinfo to speed up the download times for users.

"We used to host them in Adelaide with Hostworks, but for site performance issues, Cricinfo wanted to consolidate their servers in the U.K.," Moyes said. "This resulted in faster download times and a better experience for customers."

Marty Gauvin, managing director for Hostworks, does not think Baggy Green was moved for performance reasons.

"None of the discussions we've had with them have involved performance," Gauvin said, "so that's not what I would see as the issue."

Hostworks continues to host the rest of Ninemsn's Web sites.

The Australian reported that inside sources say "Ninemsn wanted to avoid the risk of being involved with an illegal operation after being contacted by the AFP."