24 September, 2020

Horses For Courses

Legalising cricket betting seems the only practical solution

Illustration by Sorit
Horses For Courses

The media has gone into intriguing   somnolence after the overkill of what happened at Lord’s the other day, when two misguided young Pakistani cricketers, Mohammed Asif and Mohammed Aamer, deliberately bowled three no-balls, as specified by a bookie with whom they had allegedly entered into a pact. It is alleged that their captain, Salman Butt, was privy to this misdemeanour. What exactly the bets were on, one may never know. Possibly, they were being placed on the number of no-balls bowled in a particular inning.

Cricket buffs greeted the news with shock and dismay. However, I wasn’t much affected, for the episode only confirmed what was being suspected right since 2000, when some of our cricketers were caught with their pants down. I had the dubious privilege of heading the investigation at that time, something that gave me valuable insights into how cricketers were being subverted. Two of the men in flannels were banned from the game after a Delhi police operation uncovered the scandal.

However, they...



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