Four People Arrested in Hyderabad for Involvement in Illegal Betting Activity

Four people, alleged to have been involved in illegal, organised cricket betting in India, were arrested during the Nidahas Trophy Final on Sunday.

Police had been given information about the four, and said that there are likely more arrests to be made in the near future.

The arrests are a stark reminder of the risks associated with online cricket betting in India. The country is clearly mad about sports, and in particular cricket, and despite the illegalities associated with betting, there is still a huge underground market for the illicit activity. This black market is believed to be worth around Rs 9.6 lakh crore, or USD$150 billion.

As recently as late last year, huge inroads appeared to have been made in the legalisation of online betting in the country. The Sports Ministry and the Indian government were revealed to be in discussions about how to best implement such a change, with the United Kingdom’s online betting system reportedly one India wished to follow.

Since then, things have quietened down on this front, but that does little to suggest that nothing is happening behind the scenes. Any process as significant as this will inevitably take times, as the relevant bodies need to sort the details out to ensure the benefits are reaped and the problems are nullified.

The arrest of these four men, and the likelihood of more to come, is simply a reminder that for the time being at least, such behaviour is illegal in India. For the sake of cricket lovers in the country though, of which there are many, the hope is that in the near future, the suggestions of the legalisation of betting become a reality.

So, who won the game!?

For the record, India took out the Nidahas Trophy Final against Bangladesh in a game which came down to the last ball, as most would be aware. After Bangladesh set a very competitive 166/8 first innings total, thanks largely to 77 runs in just 50 balls from Sabbir Rahman, India fought back from the brink of defeat to clinch victory.

Dinesh Karthik, the man who was recently made captain of the Kolkata Knight Riders for the upcoming IPL tournament, entered the fray with just 12 balls to go, and 34 runs required. He promptly went on to score 29 runs off 8 deliveries, including a 6 off the final delivery with 5 runs required for victory, to embed himself in history and lead his India to an historic victory.

What exactly the arrested gamblers had bet on was unclear, but if anyone put money on India with two overs to go, they ought to be applauded.

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