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'Twenty20 cricket should be banned'

cricket Updated: Feb 23, 2008 21:52 IST

PTI
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The government should ban Twenty20 cricket and ascertain the source of income for the BCCI-backed multi-billion dollar Indian Premier League, veteran CPI leader Gurudas Dasgupta demanded on Saturday.

Describing Twenty20 cricket as a "gamble" involving "widespread betting" and "free investment of unaccounted money", Dasgupta alleged that a Cabinet minister was involved in the "caricature of the game and looting cricket lovers."

Dasgupta was apparently refering to Agriculture Minister and Maharashtra political heavyweight Sharad Pawar, who heads the cash-rich BCCI.

"No player can exhibit talent in this format. It's a shameful attempt by unscrupulous people to make money. Unfortuantely, there is no opposition to this, either from cricketers or from the government," the senior parliamentarian told PTI.

"The standards and morality of cricket will go down because of Twenty20 cricket and events like IPL. Cricket will be destroyed," Dasgupta said.

Filmstars Shahrukh Khan, Juhi Chawla and Preity Zinta, and industrialists Mukesh Ambani, Vijay Mallya and Ness Wadia were among those who recently shelled out billions of rupees in bids to become franchise owners of Indian Premier League teams and rope in star players from India and abroad.

The tournament would be held at eight venues in India from April 18 to June 1.