As Rajasthan Royals' S Sreesanth and two other players are arrested, the focus in back on spot-fixing which is the latest threat to cricket's image.
Spot-fixing is betting on the result of a certain ball or over, or the performance of an individual player, rather than the result of a match. It may or may not affect the eventual outcome of the match but does impact the scorecard. The bookies are not worried about the outcome of the match; they fix ball-by-ball and it is a lucrative business.
"We can fix where and when no-balls and wides will be bowled. It is lucrative for bookies as they know when no-balls will be bowled and they can place bets accordingly, a bookie told NDTV on the condition of anonymity.
But this is not something new to cricket and is prevalent in many parts of the world. "Spot-fixing is rampant in countries like Pakistan, Bangladesh and West Indies,"┬ the bookie we spoke to said.
Betting on sports is illegal in India but is allegedly big business in the IPL and is┬ run by underground syndicates in Mumbai and other parts of the country. Sources say over 5000 crores are riding on bets placed on IPL each year.┬ Bookies often operate out of vehicles now to avoid detection.
Three Pakistan test players - Salman Butt, Mohammad Asif, and Mohammad Amir - were banned and jailed for spot-fixing in 2011, after an inquiry found they had┬ deliberately bowled no-balls in a Test Match at Lord's, in exchange for money.
With the latest controversy dealing a major blow to the image of cricket, administrators will have to devise new methods┬ prevention and detection.
Story first published on: Thursday, 16 May 2013 12:19 IST