Unusual betting patterns in the Karnataka Premier League in India have raised the concerns of bookmakers.
ESPNcricinfo understands that a couple of major betting companies – including Betfair – suspended trading on the KPL after the match between Hubli Tigers and Bijapur Bulls on August 16.
Just before the toss, Hubli were 1.9 (10/11; meaning the market’s expectation of a win for them was almost the same as its expectation of a loss) but, by the time the game started, enough money had been pumped into the market that the price moved to 1.2 (1/5) suggesting a great deal of confidence in Hubli’s victory. Hubli subsequently won what appears to have been a fairly unremarkable game by four-wickets with seven deliveries to spare.
As a result of the betting activity, however, Betfair have withdrawn markets for the rest of the tournament. It is estimated around USD 13 million (GBP 10 million) could have been expected to be waged on each match. Bet365 also briefly withdrew markets on the tournament, though they appear to have returned.
While ESPNcricinfo understands the ICC’s anti-corruption unit is aware of the development, an ICC spokesman suggested that, as it was a domestic tournament, it fell under the jurisdiction of the BCCI. They neither confirmed or denied they were aware of the incident.
A KPL official told ESPNcricinfo: “This is news to us. We have not heard of anything suspicious happening.”
While nothing untoward has been reported in this case, it is another example of the potential threats facing cricket. In recent days Sri Lanka Cricket has strengthened its anti-corruption protocols around the SLT20 having been concerned with “suspicious individuals” hanging around matches, while Al Jazeera are set to broadcast another documentary implicating players in spot-fixing.
With inputs from Sidharth Monga