Indian police arrest fake cricket competition streamed for Russian gamblers

Police in India have closed an extensive hoax cricket competition in which workers masqueraded as professional cricketers who allegedly wanted to cheat gamblers in Russia.

In the vein of the popular Indian Premier League, a group of men in the western Indian state of Gujarat rented a pitch, installed cameras and asked local workers to dress in team uniforms and play cricket.

The matches were then streamed on YouTube to unsuspecting gambling companies in Russia, who bet on match results, Achal Tyagi, the senior police officer in the Mehsana district, told Reuters.

“They had umpires with walkie-talkies to act as they have done in IPL and international cricket matches. The setup was good enough to make unsuspecting people believe it was a real cricket competition,” said Mr Tyagi.

Police arrested four people Friday in connection with the case.

The organizers broadcast a minimum of five matches on YouTube.

Gamblers had wagered 300,000 rupees (almost $6,000) on the matches, the BBC reported.

Tyagi said the umpires told players whether to score points or get out, depending on the instructions they were given on the walkie-talkies given to them by the organisers, who in turn received instructions from an accomplice in Russia on the Telegram app. .

Cricket betting is illegal in India and the four arrested have been charged with criminal conspiracy and gambling, local officials said.

IPL – the world’s richest T20 league – was embroiled in an illegal gambling scandal in 2013 that led to a two-year suspension for its franchises in Chennai and Rajasthan.

The 10-team competition is extremely popular. The sale of the media rights for the next five years netted the organizing Indian cricket board $6.2 billion last month.


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