21 Mar 2012

Former ICC boss calls for legal betting in India

7:07 am on 21 March 2012

A former International Cricket Council chief has accused India of fostering corruption in the sport, saying illegal betting in the country was the root cause of the problem.

Ehsan Mani, who headed the ICC between 2003 and 2006, estimated Sunday's Asia Cup match between India and Pakistan in Dhaka attracted bets worth $US 500 million ($NZ 610 million), but did not say how he had arrived at the figure.

He urged the ICC, headed by federal Indian minister Sharad Pawar, and the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), to pressure the government to legalise betting.

Mani, a Pakistani chartered accountant, says legal betting firms inform the ICC's Anti-Corruption and Security Unit if they encounter suspicious betting patterns.

He also says the lucrative Twenty20 tournaments, such as the Indian Premier League and the Big Bash in Australia, had emboldened illegal bookies.