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Legalize betting over 22-yard strip like lottery
IPL and BCCI have become headlines with the stripping of 22-yard strip, on which the cricket game is played and viewed by the millions of its fans over the small screen and in the stadiums. IPL is a very valuable product and has taken Indian cricket to a very high level. Billions of dollars are being transacted in this event and every cricket fans love this event.

The arrest of three Indian cricket players -  S. Sreesnath, Anekeet Chavan and Ajit Chandila – associated with Shilpa Shetty’s Rajasthan Royals by the police for spot fixing has shocked not only the cricket fans but organizers as well. It has also tarnished the image of India at the global level. The Delhi police have invoked the stringent Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) against them and 23 others in connection with the IPL spot-fixing case. Under MCOCA, a person can be jailed even for a life term.

The investigating agency has now come up with a statement that they don’t have enough evidence to arrest Raj Kundra, Rajasthan Royals co-owner, over the claims of betting in IPL games except his confessional statement.

Since the betting comes under the Gambling Act, mere confessional statement is not sufficient to prove the charge of betting in the court of law.

On the other hand, Vindoo Dara Singh after being released on bail has said, betting is not a crime and if the law enforcement agencies wanted to curb the menace, they should get hold of bookies.

The police have also moved before the Court of Additional Sessions Judge Vinay Kumar Khanna with the plea that the main bookies and fixers were also in touch with Dawood Ibrahim and Chhota Shakeel and have sought non-bailable warrants.

International Cricket Council (ICC) chief executive Haroon Lorgat favours legalisation of sports gambling in India while retaining his optimism for a corruption-free World Cup in the sub-continent. He is of the view that if it is regulated it is a lot better than if it is not regulated.

The Sports Ministry is also planning to constitute a committee headed by Justice Moudgil to work out a draft as to whether it would be possible to frame laws for the corrupt practices of match-fixing in cricket and other games.

Since the evidence in the cases of big scams lacks standing in the court of law, it looks that like all other big scams of India, the cricket scam too would meet the same fate and the people will forget, and would return to enjoy the cricket game again by sitting before the small screen and stairs of the stadiums. The investigating agencies should learn a lesson from the past and put their hands only after making a thorough root level enquiry, on such issues.

The former England captain Geoffrey has opined that India should legalize betting to stamp out corruption in cricket. The fate of IPL is at stake till the time India does not legalize betting.

It is not understood as to what indication was given by Dr.Farooq Abdullah, Union Minister for New and Renewable Energy while saying, “The day you take politics out of sport, there will be no sport”, as if politicians are behind the match-fixing scams.

In case, the betting is declared as illegal act, only then severe punishment will give a strong message to players, who might be tempted to do it in the future as their career is going to be substantially reduced if not completely destroyed. But, there is no harm in studying to legalize betting to operate a betting scheme over 22-yard strip, as in certain states of the US like lottery schemes in India, which too is termed as legal betting, can later on be extended to other games too.

Editorial NOTE: This article is categorized under Opinion Section. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of merinews.com. In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
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