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ICC recommends legal betting in India

International Cricket Council (ICC) chief executive Haroon Lorgat advocates making gambling legal in India, saying regulating betting on cricket matches would make the fight against corruption much easier.
By HT Correspondent | IANS, Washington
UPDATED ON MAY 21, 2011 11:49 AM IST

International Cricket Council (ICC) chief executive Haroon Lorgat advocates making gambling legal in India, saying regulating betting on cricket matches would make the fight against corruption much easier.

"That's been our view, if the industry was regulated you could actually work with them, monitor them better and everything would be legal so there is reason to go underground," he said in an interview with CNN World Sport.

"So our view is if it was to be regulated it would make the fight against corruption much easier for us."

Asked if ICC was in any dialogue with the Indian government over that, Lorgat said, "Early days but we have started to consider how best to engage on that issue."

"Integrity is central to the game and the ICC has got a very clear objective of exercising zero tolerance as far as that is concerned, so any form of corruption that would affect the sport is treated with the utmost severity," he said.

Asked if there would be any further rule changes, he said an independent external review was on to determine what could be done to improve the operations or the fight against corruption.

"One of the suggestions being mooted, is the concept of a mystery shopper," Lorgat said. "Meaning that we may well have people posing as a bookmaker, and approaching players to see if they report back to the anti-corruption security unit, which is an obligation they have got."

Lorgat said initially the players' response was not very supportive because they felt it was some sort of entrapment.

"But it's early days it was just a thought we had, let's see what the recommendations are and if we think it's a worthwhile idea we will engage with the players and the association to see if it's implementable.

"I think those are things we need to support," Lorgat said voicing confidence that "the majority of players are honest and play the game in the right spirit and they would have no reservations in supporting such a move".

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