The newly appointed anti-corruption head of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has made it clear that he is opposed to legalized betting. He claims that it would encourage match-fixing.
Former director general of police in Gujarat, Shabir Hussein took over from Ajit Singh as the new anti-corruption chief of BCCI on 1 April. However, he wasted no time in expressing his views on legalizing betting in the country. Hussein is opposed to the idea as he believes that it would lead to match-fixing.
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His views are in direct contrast to his predecessors who believe that legalizing betting would be the best way of preventing corruption in cricket. In a statement, the new BCCI anti-corruption chief said, “Whether the government legalizes betting or not is a different matter. But as a police officer I do feel that betting can lead to match-fixing.”
“So far, the government has rightly not legalized betting,” he added. Moreover, Hussein wants to make the rules against betting firmer and stricter. “We can make the rules more strict. We will work on that. It is a matter of great prestige that cricket is largely free of corruption. Credit should go to the BCCI for that.”
BCCI is one of the most powerful bodies in the world of cricket with an income of USD 535 Million was reported in 2019. But this pales when compared to the size of the underground betting market in India which is worth at least USD 90 Billion and can go high as USD 150 Billion annually.
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The upcoming Indian Premier League (IPL) will see millions of Indians go through the underground betting channels in the country. “Rooting out corruption from smaller events and leagues is a big challenge and we need to put an end to it. We need to ensure there is nothing shady happening at all levels of cricket being played in the country,” Hussein states.