Day before, punters give up on Sachin | india | Hindustan Times
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Day before, punters give up on Sachin

BETTING CIRCLES are taking the talk of Sachin Tendulkar?s decline seriously. So though the India-Pakistan ODI series promises to be a bookies? delight, the odds are against a masterful performance by the Master Blaster. The bets on Tendulkar are not on whether he will score a century or pull off a win for India, but on whether he will open his account, go past 10 runs and play all the five matches.

india Updated: Feb 06, 2006 00:59 IST

BETTING CIRCLES are taking the talk of Sachin Tendulkar’s decline seriously. So though the India-Pakistan ODI series promises to be a bookies’ delight, the odds are against a masterful performance by the Master Blaster.

The bets on Tendulkar are not on whether he will score a century or pull off a win for India, but on whether he will open his account, go past 10 runs and play all the five matches.

Like always for an India-Pakistan series, the bookies in Delhi and Mumbai are expecting to do big business. "If India wins the first match, the series could easily fetch over Rs 5,000 crore," says one. "The business for the Karachi Test alone was over Rs 500 crore."

So how do the odds stands? After the win in Karachi, in Pakistan's favour.
On Sunday evening, the odds were 40 paise for the hosts winning -- that is, for a bet of Rs 10,000 on Pakistan, a Pakistani victory will win a punter Rs 14,000. For India, the odds are placed at Rs 2 (on winning a bet of Rs 10,000, a punter will get Rs 20,000.) The final rates are announced on the morning of the match.
Apart from the usual bets -- who will win, the final line-up, which team will bat first, the score after the first 15 overs -- money is also being staked on the opening combination India will choose, whether Inzamam ul Haq will play and the number of runs Mohammed Kaif will score (if he plays on Monday).

After extensive raids by income-tax officials and the police forced them to lie low, the bookies have devised a number of new ways to take bets.

"Some operate in cars equipped with mobile phones, TV and laptops," says a police source. "The car is on the move till the match is over. The bookie himself provides the punters with pagers, on which the latest rates are displayed, ball-by-ball."

The Delhi Police's crime branch is on its toes but officers accept that betting is bound to take place. By the way, the vacuum created by falling expectations from Tendulkar has got filled fast. Mahendra Singh Dhoni, say bookies, is attracting the most bets.