Shabir Hussein Shekhadam Khandwawala, head of the Anti-Corruption of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), opposes the legalization of betting on the sport, which he thinks would lead to match-fixing.
Head of BCCI’s ACU Says Betting Legalization Leads to Corruption
Shabir Hussein Shekhadam Khandwawala, the new head of the Anti-Corruption Unit of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), after taking over from Ajit Singh on April 1, said this week that he opposes the legalization of betting on cricket on the grounds of match-fixing risks.
Khandwawala, who is the former director-general of police in the state of Gujarat, opposed Singh’s views, according to whom the best way to prevent corruption in cricket is to legalize betting.
The new BCCI’s ACU chief stated that no matter if the government would decide to legalize betting on the sport or not, his views would remain the same. In his opinion, the government does not legalize betting on the game for a good reason. According to him, betting encourages corruption. He believes that the rules need to be stricter, and the BCCI can make that happen. Khandwawala said that cricket is a prestigious game because it is not “largely corrupt” and the BCCI should take credit for that.
BCCI the Most Powerful Body in World Cricket
BCCI is the governing body of India’s national sport, and it is also the most powerful body in world cricket. In 2019, its income was estimated to be worth $535 million.
This number is overshadowed by the underground cricket betting in India, worth around $45 billion and could go as up to $150 billion a year. According to Doha’s International Centre for Sports Security, the bet on every one-day international fixture the India team plays is $200 million.
Top Players Are Well-Paid to Avoid Match-Fixing
Khandwawala stated that the top players are so well-paid that they wouldn’t participate in match-fixing. He said that BCCI should be proud of it. However, he stated that the real challenge lies with corruption in the smaller leagues. The BCCI’s ACU should focus on eliminating any shady business happening on all levels of the game in India.
The Indian Premier League (IPL) has begun today and ends on May 30, 2021. It is the most glamorous tournament in world cricket. The IPL will have 60 games at 6 venues between 8 teams with matches in Mumbai, Bangalore, Delhi, Ahmedabad, Chennai, and Kolkata. It is possible that during the tournament, billions of dollars will pass through the underground betting market in India.