‘Bookies target smaller players’: BCCI ACU chief
For those who thought the Indian Premier League was the primary target for bookies and fixers because of its riches, think again. The BCCI’s Anti Corruption Unit (ACU) chief Ajit Singh Shekhawat says that betting is rampant in the smaller T20 leagues proliferating across India.
“Bookies are not so interested in the profile of the tournament, the important thing for them is that the games are telecast. This facilitates betting. For this purpose they organise their own leagues and pay tv channels to telecast them,” Shekhawat, the former Director General of Police, Rajasthan, said.
The BCCI’s Anti-Corruption Unit has launched enquiries into the approaches made to players in the Tamil Nadu Premier League, the T20 Mumbai League and the Karnataka Premier League. An FIR has also been registered in Bengaluru over the approach made by match-fixers to a cricketer from the Indian women’s team.
“They bet on anything. If you go to Rajasthan and Gujarat you will see they keep finding reasons to bet,” Shekhawat said. “Cricket gives you so many reasons to bet, every ball there are so many options.”
The ACU chief points out that local players playing in these peripheral leagues are most vulnerable. “The established player will not get involved in these things,” he said. “They (fixers) would probably like to get hold of a peripheral player. It (the money offered) won’t be so much.”
Shekhawat is satisfied that the Karnataka Premier League is doing everything in its power to aid the inquiry, but not all state associations have been as forthcoming. “The MCA (Mumbai Cricket Association) got on to the defensive because they didn’t further report the matter. They were at fault, (when you are at fault) then you go on the defensive. Regarding the Mumbai league, we have instituted an enquiry, let’s see what evidence comes in the enquiry, after that we will decide.”