The Tamil Nadu Premier League (TNPL) has come under scrutiny from the BCCI’s Anti-Corruption Unit (ACU). The 2019 edition of the TNPL was the first time that the ACU had full supervision over the TNPL. There had been concerns over match fixing allegations.
ACU Reports £24 Million Wagered On Betfair During TNPL Game
Sports betting is illegal in India but that has not stopped punters from using offshore betting websites to bet on cricket. Betfair, which is one of the most popular sports betting websites in the world, was covering the TNPL as it was getting a lot of bets on the domestic T20 tournament.
The ACU’s internal investigation in the TNPL showed that Betfair received over 24 million pounds on a single game. It was a faceoff between the Madurai Panthers and Tuti Patriots. That an enormous sum of money was wagered on a domestic T20 game caught the attention of the ACU. They immediately reported the same to the BCCI top brass.
What is interesting is that in early 2019, Betfair decided to stop accepting bets from Indian customers. The online betting website uses geo-location services to prevent users in India from making wagers through their platform.
The ACU recommends the suspension of all state domestic T20 leagues in the country. TNPL isn’t the only league that has landed in hot soup. The Karnataka Premier League (KPL) has also been pulled up. Over 30 players have come under the scanner for their role in match fixing.
The Tamil Nadu Cricket Association (TNCA) launched their own internal investigation into these match fixing allegations. The internal enquiry committee recommended that the co-owners of the Tuti Patriots be removed.
Betfair Stops Taking Bets On TNPL’s Tuti Patriots
Betfair has decided to no longer accept any bets involving the Tuti Patriots. The company looks to run a fair sports betting operation. Unusually high amount of betting action on a game is a sign that something underhand is taking place.
However, there still are other offshore betting websites that continue to accept bets on domestic T20 games. This means that there are multiple platforms available for match fixers to take advantage and profit from illegal means.
It will be up to the BCCI, ACU and the state authorities to stamp out all forms of corruption. Indian cricket cannot afford to have any more match fixing scandals. The IPL match fixing scandal (2013) caused millions of fans to lose interest. It also questioned the integrity of both the game and its players.
Best Ways To Counter Match Fixing In TNPL And Elsewhere
Cricket is the biggest sport in India and fixers are constantly going to target matches and players. Here are two main ways to stop match fixing in cricket.
Congress MP Shashi Tharoor introduced the Online Gaming and Prevention of Fraud bill in 2018. It seeks to legalized sports betting across the country as a way to prevent match fixing. The current response from the Cabinet is to leave the responsibility of legalized sports betting to each state.
Those tarnishing the image of the game must face stricter fines and harsher jail terms. This should be applicable to players as well. That would send a clear message that those involved in match or spot fixing will serve jail time.