$500m to be gambled illegally on Champions Trophy final?

Dhaka,  Wed,  26 July 2017
Published : 16 Jun 2017, 21:04:18
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$500m to be gambled illegally on Champions Trophy final?

More than $500 million is allegedly to be gambled illegally on the Champions Trophy final between Pakistan and India tomorrow (Sunday), according to The Sydney Morning Herald.

The final at The Oval in England shapes as being one of the most watched matches in history between the two political enemies. The two countries have never met in a global 50-over decider.

While the Champions Trophy does not carry the same prestige as a World Cup, that India and Pakistan have won through to the final will more than ease any frustration officials may have had after the host nation was beaten in the semifinal.

There will be plenty of feeling between the teams, whose cricketing clashes have been restricted to key events either through the International Cricket Council or the Asia Cup for more than four years because of escalating political tensions. This has meant they have not played a Test match since 2007 or a bilateral series since 2012-13.

What is clear is that the two nations will generate enormous betting on the sub-continent, and in India, in particular, where it's illegal to bet on cricket largely due to The Public Gambling Act of 1867.

Pakistan versus India one-day matches generated about $500 million from gambling almost a decade ago, with sources on Friday indicating to Fairfax Media that figure almost certainly would have grown in recent years, particularly with technology making it easier to lay a bet on all sorts of machinations.

A growing issue for anti-corruption chiefs is pitch-siding, where, in India, a delay of about 12 seconds between on-field action and the live broadcast allows some spectators to pass information to bookies, or to bet themselves. This has meant players are less likely to be needed for corruption purposes.

Pakistan and India have a combined population of about 1.5 billion (not to mention those living elsewhere around the world), with a third to half of that figure expected to tune in at some stage to this latest game. Almost one billion tuned in to the 2011 World Cup semi-final between the nations. Queues at airports in India have been known to almost come to a standstill when the two countries have met.

India and Pakistan did meet in the 2007 World Twenty20 final, with India prevailing by five runs. They also clashed in the final of the World Championship of Cricket in Melbourne in 1985, an event commemorating 150 years of European settlement in Victoria. India also won, this time by eight wickets, but that event had only the seven Test-playing nations of the time.
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