Mumbai: If the betting world is to be believed, Rs 2000 crore is riding on the Master Blaster during his last match at the Wankhede Stadium. As Sachin Tendulkar walks out play one final time, bookies are convinced he will smash a century.
A Mumbai-based bookie told NDTV on the condition of anonymity, "Bets over Sachin's double century is Rs. 4 and century is Rs. 2. And though we don't know whether he will hit a century, since it is his last match in Mumbai, 99% bookies are saying that he will hit a century."
While bookies proclaim the odds are high that Sachin will hit a ton, a double century before the home crowd is not something they expect. And will Sachin, like Australian great Don Bradman did in his final outing, get out without scoring runs? Simply out of the question, say bookies. At the same time the chances of him winning the Man-of-the-Match award is very slim.
The Mumbai Police are keeping a close watch on the betting activity, especially after the major crackdown on betting syndicates during the IPL which led to the arrest of N Srinivasan's son-in-law Gurunath Meiyappan.
"We will be keeping a strict visual on bookies and people associated with illegal activities associated with cricket and assure you that the strictest possible action will be taken against people found indulging in illegal activities", said Joint Commissioner of Police (Crime), Himanshu Roy.
A Mumbai based bookie told NDTV, "Most bookies are going outstation. There are different places, some are in Kolkata and some are in Delhi. 99% bookies are not setting up in Mumbai."
On the basis of information from the world of betting, India will once again beat the West Indies. While that will be a super achievement, what India will also hope is to watch another memorable knock from the man who has given us so much joy for over two decades.