New Delhi:The on-going Ashes decider at The Oval is turning out to be a much-anticipated affair for not only the bookies of the two contesting nations but also for Indian bookmakers, who are sensing victory of Australia and have staked all their money in the favour of Ricky Ponting's men, a report said.
With the series locked at 1-1, the Indian bookies are considering Australia as favourites to retain the urn and have have pitted their odds on the Ponting-led side to win the final Test which began on Thursday.
"The Oval on the Indian market were 2.40, England winning it 4 to 1 and a draw at 1.25. Betfair (on Thursday, hours before the start), offered odds of an Australian win at 2.42, England 5.2 and a draw 2.5," a report in a cricket website said.
"However, these figures are dwarfed by those coming out of the illegal betting market in India, as befits the financial centre of the game. It is estimated that each of the preceding four Ashes Tests has seen between $30 million and $41 million (Rs 150-200 crore) wagered on the result. For the series win (called 'cup betting' in India), those figures increase to between USD 50-61 million (Rs 250-300 crore)," the report added.
The report also stated that Betfair, the leading P2P (person to person) betting exchange based in the UK, had already matched bets worth $4.8 million by yesterday afternoon.
"Given that Betfair generally accounts for nearly half of the total volume logged in the UK, the total betting on the winner of the Ashes series will far exceed the figure of $10 million by the time the first ball is bowled at the Oval.
And though cricket may not yet have taken off on the continent, betting on it is surprisingly energetic, with approximately $3 million placed on the result," it said.