Cricket Impacted by Large Illegal Betting Market

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Recently the England and Wales Cricket Board met to discuss the latest attempt to revive the country’s game of Cricket. Such a talk was necessary as the sport has been marred by corruption and game rigging, becoming more prominently noticeable in the past few years.

In September 2009, former Essex fast bowler Mervyn Westfield shockingly admitted to accepting a 6000 pound bribe in return for giving away a predetermined number of runs during a Pro40 match at Durnham. This admittance of bribery has confirmed the questions relating to spot-fixing and match rigging in the game.

The lavish method in which this event was publicised provide it with an uncharacteristic boost, pushing it ahead of other Cricket corruption charges against three Pakistan cricketers who had been jailed for conspiracy to bowl no-balls at pre-determined points during a Lord’s Test in 2010.

Many speculate that the reason for such corruption and bribery in the sport is due to the fact that remuneration amongst Pakistani players in comparison with other notable countries such as India and England are not providing enough incentive to remain loyal.

Chris Watts, a former senior detective for 30 years, information officer of Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and member of anti-corruption, education and security unit stated in November 2011 that these issues must be tackled on a domestic scale first before an international scale.

“From what I know at the moment I would say the risks are more in the domestic game than the international arena. That would be my early judgment at this stage.”

Professional Cricketer’s Association (PCA) chief executive Angus Porter said that focus on all areas of the game is more preferable than focussing on either domestic of international.

“I’m not convinced that we know who the high-risk groups are. There is no doubt that where there are threats of corruption they will be linked to gambling and that gambling will predominantly be on televised games. International cricket certainly is a risk and I think domestic cricket is also a risk because some games are televised on the Indian subcontinent so I suppose those specific matches are the ones we need to worry about.”

Match fixing is not just prominent in Cricket as of recent but seen to be prevalent in all sporting codes, becoming a major threat to the integrity of recreational activity all across the globe. The illegal betting market has been estimated at $500 billion in Asia alone, threatening to disturb the balance of big sports world wide. Despite its best efforts, Interpol still hasn’t manage to make a significant crack at the base of these blemishes on sport but is still pursuing interests and maintain a tight watch on all suspicious activity, hoping that the near future spells an end to sports corruption.

[Source: The Guardian UK]