Among the key witnesses in the spot-fixing trial was an ex-CBI officer. Ravi Sawani,who served as chief investigator and general manager of the ACSU from 2007 to 2011,has been investigating corruption in cricket ever since his stint with the CBI since 2000.
Sawani says that the cricket gambling trade has become a core element of business for criminal gangs in Asia. According to the Guardian,When the court asked Sawani to describe who the bet-setters were in this illicit industry,he told the court,These are the book-keepers and they are part of the mafia. They are the underworld dons.
Cell phone,fixed lines
According to Sawani,the real push for betting came in the 1990s with the advent of mobile phones and increased TV coverage.
Describing how the betting was carried out,Sawani said: You have guys on a telephone line and they have a telephone exchange of their own. The number is given only to an authorised person and these lines go on only when a match is live.
Bets can be put on up to 10 seconds before an event. They square up the accounts the next day and destroy all the evidence, he said.
Sawani told the court that the inherently complex nature of cricket opened itself to gambling particularly through spot fixing.
There are considerations of how many runs a batsman will score or a bowler might concede,how many times a wicketkeeper might remove the bails from the stumps or even how many players would be wearing hats at a given time in so-called fancy bets.
Sawani elaborate that the fixing occurs when a bet-setter tries to to reduce his own risks and increase the odds of his success.