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Corona Virus Shuts Down Cricket Betting in India
As businesses all over world continue to struggle in the midst of coronavirus, sports betting was dealt yet another blow by BCCI’s most recent announcement. The Board of Control of Cricket in India has decided to ban all matches in South Asia until the pandemic has fully subsided.
It had come to the board’s attention that despite the ongoing pandemic, some cricket matches in India were being played behind closed doors. Betting enthusiasts were more than happy to jump on the opportunities presented by these ‘dark matches’ but it seems that will no longer be the case moving forward.
BCCI Bans Cricket Betting
BCCI President, Sourav Ganguly had the following to say regarding the state of cricket in India “The social reality of Germany and India are different, there will be no cricket in India in the near future. There are too many ifs and buts involved. More importantly, I don’t believe in sport when there is a risk to human life.”
The decision was welcomed by other Indian cricketers who supported Ganguly’s stance on dealing with the ongoing crisis. Former Indian captain, Sunil Gavaskar added “As we all know, Australia has barred foreigners from entering the country till September 30. The tournament starts in mid-October so it is looking difficult at the moment. Next year the T20 WC is scheduled in India. If India and Australia come to an agreement and the Covid-19 curve in India flattens out, they can swap. It can be held in India this October-November and next year in Australia.”
Harbhajan ‘Bhajji’ Singh known for speaking his mind was fairly vocal and said “When IPL teams travel, there’s a huge crowd at the airports, hotels, outside the stadium. How are you going to stop them if you are looking to maintain social distancing? There should be no top-flight cricket till there is a vaccine for Covid-19.”
India has seen coronavirus cases go past 35,000 with nearly 2000 cases being reported in the last 24 hours. This marks the highest jump in cases in 24 hours. Numbers released by the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare indicate that the 35,000 figure includes 27,000 active cases, 8,900 cured and over 1,200 deaths. With such alarming figures, it comes as no surprise that BCCI is reluctant to kick start the cricketing calendar this year.
The government on the other hand is having to deal with an unprecedented slowdown in economy. A review meeting is scheduled to take place in the coming few days to discuss the lockdown relaxations. Prime Minister Narendra Modi will sit down with key Union ministers and top government functionaries to discuss measures that can be taken to nudge India back towards normality while still respecting the threat posed by the virus.
It was also revealed earlier this week that Serum Institute of India plans to start production of the COVID-19 vaccine developed by Oxford University this month. If all goes according to plan and the human trials are successful, the vaccine will become available in October.
With so many unknown variables surrounding the pandemic, it is indeed wise of BCCI to suspend cricket events. Yes, this will have an adverse effect on the cricket betting markets but it is a step that needs to be taken. Hopefully the markets will bounce back stronger once the virus has come to an end.
Title: Corona Virus Shuts Down Cricket Betting in India