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Monday, April 26, 2010

Australian Sports Betting Scandals: NRL Football Cricket Next?, by Greg Tingle - 27th April 2010

It's been a bad news and bitterly disappointing week for the world of Australian sports and sports betting. First the NRL with the Melbourne Storm, now other clubs and being dragged into to it, and today more revelations that the integrity of Australian and Indian cricket is being questioned. It's enough to make your throw up your curry. Media Man and Gambling911 extend their tentacles to India - Bollywood and it's underworld, certainly not restricted to Australia's Underbelly or the U.S Sopranos.

Indian tax officials have denied issuing a paper naming at least 27 cricketers, including a "famous Australian"... let us guess...for spot-fixing during last year's Indian Premier League.

The news broke via Mumbai's Mid-Day paper last Friday, quoted an income tax report as stating, "during IPL, the match fixing and betting racket has scaled new heights." It added that suspended IPL commissioner Lalit Modi "is apparently deeply embroiled in both generation of black money, money laundering, betting in cricket" and accused "superstars of Indian cricket and even an international player, who is a captain of one of the teams" in fixing matches!

Additional reports on NDTV and the Times of India strongly suggested cricket matches were compromised during early round IPL matches played in Cape Town. Both organisations have distanced themselves from the earlier reports.

An official from the Indian tax office notified some Australian press that no report had been released alleging impropriety on the part of 27 IPL players.

Shane Warne's name has also come up in the discussions. Warnie's management has also strongly denied suggestions that the "famous Australian" mentioned in media reports last Friday was the Rajasthan Royals captain.

Cricket officials have expressed concerns about the integrity of the IPL due illegal bookmakers. Last year's tournament was conducted without the presence of the International Cricket Council's Anti-Corruption and Security unit.

This was linked to Modi arguing at the time that the groups $1.2 million operating costs were over the limit already.

Insiders and whistle blowers advise illegal bookmakers and the like have become more daring and pro active in their devious approaches to cricketers following their apparent success in infiltrating Twenty20 tournaments such as the IPL.

Two Aussie's were approached during last year's tour to England. One at the time of the World Twenty20 and the other during The Ashes. To their merit, they immediately reported the matter to the teams team management.

Indian news media reports have "credible information" that two bomb blasts outside an IPL match in Banglaore on 17th April were related and "linked" to underground gambling operators.

"There are signs that the IPL betting racket wanted the semi-finals to be held in Mumbai," Karnataka state Home Minister Acharya said. "We have received credible information from intelligence sources that the betting racket is behind the blasts. We are carrying out investigations. It could be a betting lobby that is behind moving the semi-final matches out of Bangalore or some other lobby. We had assured them that we would take control of the stadium and ensure safe conduct of the tournament. They did not listen to us."

Gambling911 and Media Man are hopeful that the world's sporting scandals, most of which are linked to sports betting, get extinguished before any more damage is done to the integrity of sports, with or without sports betting. It's just not in the spirit of the game. Punters and fans want so see real winners, and can do without Underbelly-like and underworld involvement. Let's get sport back to being fun again, anything else is just not cricket.

*Greg Tingle is a special contributor for Gambling911

*Media Man is primarily a media, publicity and internet portal development company. Media Man also publishers the Australian Sports Entertainment website portal

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