IN A first, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has banned its players from visiting casinos during the limited overs tour of Australia. The instruction was relayed to the team during their bus ride from Brisbane to Melbourne, the venue of the third one-dayer against Australia, on Sunday.
The decision to impose the ban was taken by BCCI president Shashank Manohar and secretary Anurag Thakur.
The Indian team is staying at a five-star hotel in Melbourne, whose complex houses one of the most famous casinos of Australia.
The Sunday Express has learnt that the BCCI took the decision as it did not want to take the risk of cricketers inadvertently meeting the “wrong people”, or being seen at a place which could be construed as inappropriate for a national cricketer.
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The BCCI has been involved in an image-building exercise following the IPL spot-fixing and betting controversy, and the subsequent Lodha committee report which recommended a number of reforms.
The recent revelations that Indian-origin South African cricketer Ghulam Bodi attempted to fix the national T20 league matches has also served as a reminder that players are being pursued by unscrupulous people.
The modus operandi of bookies and fixers involves befriending the cricketers during their time away from the field — at the team hotel, restaurants, pubs or social gatherings — before trying to influence them.
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