England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) chairman Giles Clarke said that pirate websites streaming live cricket illegally are the biggest threat to world cricket.
The ECB last year closed down some 700 websites illegally streaming live coverage of England’s Test series against India.
“We all have to be very vigilant,” Giles said during an appearance on Test Match Special on day two of the Abu Dhabi Test between England and Pakistan.
“There are a huge number of pirate websites streaming cricket on the Internet taken from television broadcasts – we and our broadcasters closed down 700 during last summer’s series against India.
“It’s an extremely complex procedure, but it can be done and it has to be done.
“That is the biggest danger to cricket, because they take money out of the game without commercial benefit to us.
“They are being used by the bookmakers as well. The problem of pirate site streaming is very big for sport.”
The ECB on Thursday announced a new six-year deal with the BBC to continue Test Match Special’s exclusive radio rights for home internationals.
“This is excellent news for all cricket-lovers,” said Giles.
“Test Match Special brings cricket into millions of homes in this country each summer and is widely recognised for its unique and world-class coverage of cricket.”