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Rediff News  All News  » News » FAQs on cricket betting: Absence of action tells the real tale

FAQs on cricket betting: Absence of action tells the real tale

Last updated on: May 17, 2013 20:49 IST

Photographs: Darren Staples/Reuters Sheela Bhatt

As another murky saga of betting in cricket surfaces, Sheela Bhatt raises some frequently asked questions on the subject and provides answers.

The Indian Premier League has got just a little more sleazy with three players -- S Sreesanth, Ankeet Chavan and Ajit Chandila -- arrested for spot-fixing. The cricketers, who represent the Rajasthan Royals franchise, were covertly found to be hand-in-glove with gamblers trying to fix the outcome of the tournament games.

Here are some FAQs to understand that the enjoyment of the game will only come at some moral cost. Sleaze, money, sex and deceit will be a part of the game. Don't do any soul-searching, enjoy the cricket as it's served to you, or just leave it.  

Any surprise to see Sreesanth under a black hood hiding him from cameras while going to court?

What a question! Of course not! Nobody is surprised. Cricket fans may find it thrilling but there is nothing mysterious about it. Cricket's top bosses -- from the International Cricket Council to the Board of Control for Cricket in India -- are forced to give bytes before the camera on how the IPL is a treasure trove of opportunities and how it has attracted new talent and how players have got ample money from it.

But what a waste of their time due to the Delhi police's hyperactive action! The cricket dons tell us why players should not indulge in such dirty activities. Sharad Pawar has said the BCCI should get tough in dealing with such incidents. He wants the players be suspended.

But these statements need correction. Those who "get caught" in the sleazy act of spot-fixing or any other form of betting should be suspended. After Sreesanth's arrest whatever is shown on television and is written about is a farce.

The gambling by thousands of cricket fans, the betting by intermediaries, the spot-fixing by cricketers, the selling of an over for Rs 40 lakh by some daring guys, the involvement of call-girls, and the big fat profit in and around global cricket is all known. There is no story.


FAQs on cricket betting: Absence of action tells the real tale

What the Delhi Police has done deserves no kudos. These are crimes of various shades and are very easy to detect. Periodically, the police, some television channel or some expose entertains us by revealing some branch of the sleazy saga of cricket betting. It is mostly known to people who should know about it.

The Hindustan Times, which reports on the Delhi police quite vividly, wrote, 'The arrests were the culmination of a month-long surveillance operation run by the Delhi police, which has been in dire need of a success after copping endless flak for its handling of crime on the capital's streets and the high-handedness of some of its cops.' Correct, we agree! 

Why do you say the response of the top cricket bosses against the blatant act by Sreesanth is a charade?

Do you remember how Yogendra Pal Singh, 55, took over from Ravi Sawani as the head of the Anti-Corruption and Security Unit of the International Cricket Council? He was a senior officer in the Central Bureau of Investigation who was investigating no less than the 2G scam. He suddenly announced his retirement and quit his job to immediately join the Dubai headquarter of ICC. His colleagues were taken a back and so were the political leaders (See this link).

Sharad Pawar was then president of the ICC. (He was succeeded by Alan Isaac.) The shifting of Singh to Dubai has gone unexplained. However, in 2011-12, the anti-corruption unit of the ICC did an excellent job of investigating the fixers network dogging Indian cricket. On January 23, 2012, a report was presented in the ICC management's closed-door meeting. Somehow that report is still gathering dust. No action was taken.

Thus, the cheap and healthy-looking entertainment of a billion people, while debasing the value of sports, is going on unrestricted in the form of IPL. 

The ACUS was formed in the year 2000. The IPL is not directly under the ICC but the ACSU is. BCCI has hired the services of a retired Indian officer who once worked in the ACSU. Today, while speaking to a south-based newspaper, unnamed sources have corroborated the fact that the ICC is aware of the happenings in the world of betting.


FAQs on cricket betting: Absence of action tells the real tale

The source in ICC has told the New Indian Express, 'It's wrong to say the ACSU is not doing anything. Just because its findings are not made public, you are saying it's an inactive body.' Precisely!

According to reliable information given to, the ICC's anti-corruption unit has scores of video tapes of players' movement inside and outside hotel rooms, they have audio tapes of bookies and the underworld network, and they also know enough names to seriously bust the world of gamblers and bookies.

The absence of any action tells the real tale. According to the report that has not been made public, ICC has the details of IPL-4 where someone with code name VG was in touch with two cricketers codenamed HS1 and HS2. The ACSU team had presented another eight photographs of suspects who are running a network to influence players, do the betting and indulge in multi-billion rupees worth of gambling. The pictures of all the suspects were presented to the committee, and has a copy of it.

One of the slides presented to the ICC bosses shows the picture of a call-girl used in the betting racket. The bookies names are coded and almost all of them are Indian.

The names of some are PK, DK, K, SP, PT, KB, RA, SK and DP. Photographs of some of these bookies are also on the slide. Since has been unable to confirm the veracity of the slides from independent source it is difficult to reveal the pictures of the bookies at this stage. The ICC's anti-corruption unit has hundreds of calls and sms details of these bookies. By now, the crucial time has passed. New bookies must have taken over as the new players get into the team and under the arc-lights of IPL. 


FAQs on cricket betting: Absence of action tells the real tale

Is Dawood Ibrahim involved in the betting racket?

Nobody knows for sure where he is. If he is still alive then our safe bet is that he is surely involved in it. When Dawood Ibrahim was visible in Dubai he used to fancy talking about cricket and Hindi films.

He will never speak about the Mumbai blasts, but used to share with a flourish his passion for cricket and details of how he sometimes loses and sometimes makes money on cricket. The idea of shame involved in betting or match-fixing is absent in him and among the members of the network that's operating in his name, obviously! 

Gambling in cricket is addictive. It is a kick similar to alcohol for these gamblers. Many diamond merchants at Opera House in Mumbai, big and small-time politicians, big-time businessmen, even bureaucrats who put big money into gambling, have seriously studied cricket players, game and its craft.

They gamble seriously and put at stake much more money than the IPL's entire budget.

What will happen to the three tainted players?

They will play the price for getting caught but, not exactly for not playing by the rules.