Why Cricket Is More Corrupt Than Ever

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(Newswire.net — February 10, 2017) — Match fixing and illegal betting seem to go hand-in-hand with modern sport. It’s a problem that has existed since the early days and one that will probably never go away. From football managers receiving bribes to snooker players taking bungs, its influence can be felt in every sport. 

The sport that seems to hit the headlines more frequently for these scandals is cricket. But why are they so prevalent here? What makes this sport such a target and is this a problem that is getting out of hand?

Cricket Gambling 

One of the main issues with cricket is that there are huge betting markets around the world. Many of these are centered in countries like the United Kingdom, where hundreds of millions are exchanged, and in Asia, where the totals can surpass billions of dollars. Using betting exchanges and global sport books, players from these regions gamble fortunes on cricket matches worldwide, including countries like Bangladesh, Pakistan and India.

These countries aren’t exactly wealthy, and while the players at the top can earn a respectable wage playing the game, the same can’t be said for those at the bottom. This creates a scenario whereby a field of 22 players are playing a professional game, earning little more than a few hundred dollars each, for the pleasure of it. If they play well and win, they might earn a few hundred more. Yet, at the same time, that game is being covered by major Asian/European sports books and millions of dollars are being staked on it.

So, the ones doing the gambling get in touch with the ones playing the game. They offer them a year’s or even a career’s worth of money, and it’s an offer they just can’t refuse. 

This can be very difficult to spot, because in most cases the players are not throwing entire games or even making huge mistakes. Because gambling markets allow you to bet on very minor incidents during each game, sometimes the only thing the player needs to do is bowl a “no ball” or allow a run during a certain over.

Bad News or Good News for Gamblers?

The larger scandals surrounding the game have caused big problems and have threatened the integrity of the sport. This includes an incident in 2010 when Hansie Cronje admitted to throwing matches. But most of the incidents are minor and will have no impact on the game.

The only people who can feel truly aggrieved are honest gamblers. If you’re also betting on minor prop bets then you want to be safe in the knowledge that the bets will be fair, and not under the influence of corruption. As a result, the online gambling community is a little lost right now. Sites like Online Cricket Betting, who offer cricket betting tips, are even trying to predict certain scandals so they can provide winning tips for their readers.

They commented, “It sounds crazy, but we provide tips so we can win people money. And if that means watching the exchanges for suspicious bets, and for a lot of movement on markets that are usually ignored, then so be it. The funny thing is, you can see this activity for yourself. Everyone who uses the exchanges knows that it happens everyday on most sports, yet the “Scandals” only ever break once or twice a year”.

The Future of Cricket 

This may feel like a dark time for cricket and for sports. Organized crime has clearly influenced large parts of professional sports, and it’s scary. But the good news is that for the most part, top level sport is untouchable. There is a limit to how much money can be placed on a particular event without the markets getting suspicious. That means there is limit on how much money the organizations can make, which in turn means there is a limit on how big the bribes can be. 

That’s why their focus is on lower levels and smaller earners. So, it’s not a question of whether or not they have tried to influence the people at the very top, because they most certainly have. It’s a question of whether or not they will ever be able to earn enough money to bribe those players. And when you consider that top-level sportsmen can earn $20+ million a year, and that match-fixing is a scam generating hundreds of thousands as opposed to millions, it’s highly unlikely.