IPL 2020: Watchdog body on alert as tournament moves out
IPL 2020: Ajit Singh’s team of eight will be handling IPL’s anti-corruption protocols along with local liaison officers hired by BCCI. There will no team integrity officers (TIO) this time just security liaison officers (SLO), one with each of the eight franchises. “It’s because teams will be in a bubble throughout. So the SLO’s will be joining the bubble and doing the same job as TIO,” said Singh.Updated: Aug 12, 2020 08:49 IST
The Anti-Corruption Unit (ACU) of the Indian cricket board said it is aware of “certain betting exchanges” in the UAE where this year’s IPL will be held from September 19 to November 8.
“We have to be careful,” said Ajit Singh, head of BCCI’s anti-corruption unit (ACU). He said there are betting syndicates in UAE which have registered outlets abroad. “It becomes convenient for them (bookies). There are some (corruptors) who run their own betting exchanges there.” (Full coverage of IPL 2020)
Indians Ravinder Dandiwal and Deepak Agarwal too allegedly have links in UAE. Dandiwal, an alleged international match-fixing kingpin, was arrested by the police for trying to pass off a league in Mohali as one in Sri Lanka. Agarwal is serving a two-year ICC ban for ‘obstructing or delaying an investigation’ and was arrested for allegedly holding a dubious competition in Noida. Both are out on bail.
Singh’s team of eight will be handling IPL’s anti-corruption protocols along with local liaison officers hired by BCCI. There will no team integrity officers (TIO) this time just security liaison officers (SLO), one with each of the eight franchises. “It’s because teams will be in a bubble throughout. So the SLO’s will be joining the bubble and doing the same job as TIO,” said Singh.
The pandemic protocols mean the ACU’s focus will be on team hotels. “Teams will be moving from hotel to their practice and match venues. Apart from that, they are not allowed to move anywhere else due to the bubble. Nobody is supposed to be meeting them,” said Singh.
Matches at only three venues --- Sharjah, Dubai and Abu Dhabi --- also eliminate the risks that round-the-country travel presents when the IPL is held at home.
Yet, with the illegal betting industry estimated to be have an annual turnover of over R10 lakh crore, a lot of which is from IPL, Singh said they can’t lower their guard.
NO BCCI curators
IPL chairman Brijesh Patel has ruled out sending BCCI’s curators to UAE. “We are told they have good curators at all the three venues, so will not need to send anyone,” he said. In 2014, when a part of IPL was held in UAE, BCCI sent its curator PR Viswanathan as observer.
Around 50 players are set to travel with the eight teams as their exclusive net bowlers, according to a PTI report. Chennai Super Kings (CSK), Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) and Delhi Capitals have confirmed that they are preparing a roster of net bowlers. The list comprises mostly first-class, U-19 and U-23 state level cricketers. CSK and KKR are likely to take 10 bowlers each to UAE. A media release from Cricket Association of Bengal said pacers Akash Deep and Sayan Ghosh will travel to UAE as net bowlers for Rajasthan Royals and Kings XI Punjab.