(Reuters) - International Cricket Council (ICC) chief executive Haroon Lorgat favours legalisation of sports gambling in India while retaining his optimism for a corruption-free World Cup in the sub-continent.
There has seldom been a cricket corruption of late without an Indian connection and the clamour is growing to legalise betting in a country where legal gambling is confined to horse-racing while casinos are allowed only in a couple of states.
Lorgat and his colleagues in the ICC have held discussions about urging the Indian government to legalise cricket gambling, according to a report in The National newspaper on Monday.
“I agree with the notion that if it is regulated it is a lot better than if it is not regulated,” Lorgat was quoted as saying.
“We have made inquiries, and these are the things we are working towards.”
In the absence of official figures, media reports claim an India-Pakistan one-day international draws bets worth $20 million through an illegal syndicate of which Mumbai is considered the hub.
Lorgat, however, had no doubt that the Feb 19-Apr 2 World Cup, which India co-hosts along with Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, would be free of corruption with ICC’s anti-corruption unit beefing up its presence.
“I am confident (the World Cup will be free from corruption) for two reasons,” Lorgat said.
“The main one is that the vast majority of players are honest players. They do play the game in the spirit that it should be played. They are not seeking to make gains out of untoward means.
“Secondly, we are alive to what could come to the fore in terms of corruption. We have measures in place...
“I am satisfied we will have measures in place at the World Cup. We will increase capacity because we realise things do change.”
An ICC tribunal on Saturday banned the Pakistani trio of Salman Butt, Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Amir, who were found guilty of spot-fixing in the fourth test against England last August.
Lorgat hoped the punishment would serve as a deterrent.
Pak Sports Minister urges ICC to review five-year ban on ‘young’ Amir
Islamabad, Feb 7(ANI): Pakistan Sports Minister Ajaz Jakhrani has urged the International Cricket Council (ICC) to review the five-year ban imposed on fast bowler Mohammed Amir.
Amir has been banned for five years over spot-fixing charges in the Lord’s Test match played against England in August last year.
Jakhrani said that he was surprised by the lengthy ban on Amir because of his young age. “We think the ICC must review the ban on Aamir again because he is young and was influenced into doing things he might not have wanted to do,” the Daily Times quoted Jakhrani, as saying.
“He should be given a chance to redeem and reform and make a comeback to cricket,” he added.
The Minister also said that the overall impact of the bans was a big shock for Pakistan cricket.
The ICC has also imposed bans on former captain Salman Butt and fast bowler Mohammad Asif.