A day after The Indian Express highlighted the extent of betting in domestic T20 cricket leagues in India, with a Tamil Nadu Premier League (TNPL) game witnessing Rs 225 crore staked on Betfair, a TNPL team wants the Board of Control of Cricket in India (BCCI) to thoroughly investigate the league.
Madurai Panthers, which played the said fixture against Tuti Patriots earlier this year, have said they have complained in writing to the Tamil Nadu Cricket Association (TNCA), the BCCI and its anti corruption unit (ACU) on “dubious umpiring” in TNPL.
P Damodaran, who owns Panthers, told The Indian Express: “Some of the decisions that we saw in our game were dubious — it happened not once but many times. The way umpiring was done made us more suspicious. We felt something was wrong, but nothing came of it.”
In a confidential report by the BCCI ACU submitted to the board’s top bosses, it was stated how an unusually high amount was wagered on an Indian state league on Betfair, an international betting site, prompting the platform to stop taking bets on any matches involving Tuti Patriots. The ACU report didn’t find anything suspicious about the Madurai team and solely focused on Tuti Patriots.
It’s not the first controversy the TNPL and Tuti Patriots have found themselves in. Earlier, the TNCA conducted an inquiry after The Indian Express had reported how a number of players, coaches and officials in the team were allegedly involved in match-fixing.
Sources involved with the probe had said that bookies and match-fixers, “after taking control of a franchise through a deal with the team owner, were running the team in such a way that they were making windfall gains in betting”. A month later, TNCA expelled two co-owners of Tuti Patriots.
Damodaran further said: “As an owner, we are worried about what all is happening and what we are reading in media reports. The culprits should be banned for life and should be sent to jail. This needs to end somewhere. A full-fledged investigation is the need of the hour, and if needed, the Indian board should take help of the government in this.”
The BCCI ACU has suggested the board to consider pulling the plug on such leagues running all across India by various state associations.