India – the hub of cricket's betting syndicates

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India – the hub of cricket's betting syndicates
It is indeed an interesting observation when the entire world hints at being the hub of the gambling mafia’s. With many players from most international teams being approached by Indian bookies, the ICC is expecting to find the solution to cricket corruption by imposing bans on three Pakistani players.
But what needs to be understood is that the problem of corruption in cricket runs deep and those sitting in the higher echelons of cricketing power are hoping that this apparent “window dressing” measure taken to curb corruption in England would be fruitful to keep the ICC off the critique radar. According to most cricketers privy to cricket betting, these measures have proven to be a facade behind what could be an entire network of corruption that the ICC has failed to hold accountable.
It is believed that following news reports of the spot-fixing brouhaha, Mumbai's bookmaking community lost Rs.15 billion for the Lords test, since all bets placed on the match were possibly rendered null and void. It is also believed that the scandal may strain relations between local Indian bookmakers and those across the border or in Dubai.
According to many sources, a based punter Shoban Kalachowki somehow came to know about how Pakistani players were paid to underperform during the match. Kalachowki has teamed up with Govinda Kolkata and the underhand dealings worth millions of rupees have left these bookmakers with ill gotten riches. A strong rival of Dawood Ibrahim, who is supporting the non-payment of bets, is Chhota Rajan. According to the Daily Mail, Chhota Rajan is supposedly a RAW agent.
The ICC has once again failed to put a check on Indian bookmakers who have managed to extend their “criminal tentacles” to players all over the world. The beginning of the decade was marred by bans being imposed on Indian captain and South African captain Hansie Cronje, who were disgraced after reports emerged that they were involved in match-fixing with Indian bookies. The rise of T20 and the Indian Premier league might mean that access of such venomous elements to international players might be easier than the ICC would want themselves to believe.
The Indian Premier League along with ICC President Sharad Pawar is not free from scandals and allegations of misappropriation of funds along with allegations of fraud. The ICC chairman himself claimed not so long ago, that his entire wealth was estimated at Rs. 36 million. However it turned out that he had a 16% stake in city finance and the team was worth Rs. 12 billion. While the people in India were dying of hunger, Sharad Pawar, the ICC chairman was busy in IPL bidding. The chairman incidentally also happens to be the Minister of Agriculture and Consumer affairs for the Indian Government.
A report published by the Central Bureau of Investigation published in 2000 aided in unravelling the links between cricket players and their involvement with betting syndicates to discover possible malpractices, and examining the role and function of the Board of Control for Cricket in India. It assessed whether the board could have prevented these malpractices which are rampant in India’s domestic cricket structure as well. This report went on to allege that the cricket fraternity maintained a ‘conspiracy of silence’. None of the players had come forward to aid the CBI gather information or data.
The report’s conclusions were based on the evidence of several bookmakers, especially that of introduced MK to a number of international players. Shane Warne and Mark Waugh had accepted taking money from MK.
MK also said that he paid a sum of $40,000 to Brian Lara to underperform in two ODI matches during tour of India. He also allegedly paid Martin Crowe an amount of $20,000 to get information about the pitch, team composition and weather.
MK further went on to note that he was introduced to Hansie Cronje by Mohammad Azharuddin in 1996 during the India-South Africa test at Kanpur. He paid $40,000 to Cronje on the third day of the Kanpur Test to ensure that his team lost.
To sum it up, as the statesman finely put it, “Having failed to protect potentially the greatest cricket talent since the arrival of the infant prodigy batsmen Sachin Tendulkar and Brian Lara, the ICC, with no shade of judgement, now proposes to banish it. Amir cannot expect to escape some punishment for his sins if he is proved guilty. Nor can the ICC and the Cricket Board. In their cases the verdict is surely already in. It is on the charge of criminal neglect.”



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