'South Asian nations more exposed to match fixing'

Kolkata, June 15 (IANS) Observing that the gentleman's game has allowed corrupt practices of match fixing and betting to go on, author Atul Kumar feels that south Asian nations are exposed to fixing and betting in cricket to a bigger extent and the solution lies in creating awareness through a system of warning prior to a match.

"South Asian nations are more exposed but everyone is involved. It is our misfortune that we are allowing it to be projected like as if only we are involved because I think if they come out with the fact that others are involved whole thing will come out ..which no one wants," Kumar told IANS on the sidelines of a book reading session on 'Inside the Boundary Line' by the author at Oxford Bookstore here Friday.

"South Asian nations are developing nations..so possibly the lure of money is more," said Kumar.

'Inside the Boundary Line', a fictional work penned by Kumar, delves into the world of fixing and betting in international cricket.

Kumar has also authored the critically acclaimed book 'Rogues Rascals & Eunuchs (Pain of an Indian whistle-blower)'.

Kumar attributes the tendency of players to indulge in fixing to the "corrupt system" that has allowed such flaws to continue unhindered.

"It is greed within greed. They want to exploit the system more out of a corrupt system. Not because of the overall system of fixing which has been continuing. People have become greedy because of the set up of fixing," Kumar said.

Three Rajasthan Royals players S. Sreesanth, Ankeet Chavan, Ajit Chandila were arrested in Mumbai May 16 by Delhi Police for their alleged involvement in spot fixing in Indian Premier League (IPL) matches for payments up to Rs.60 lakh for giving away pre-determined number of runs in an over.

According to Kumar, the arrest of only the bowlers or "a few rotten eggs" is "incredible" as the batsmen have to be involved as well.

"How can the batsmen not be involved? If one side is involved then the other must be too....else how can the match be fixed based only on bowlers..it is incredible," pointed out Kumar.

However banning IPL matches is not a solution as the writer feels it is only the tip of the iceberg and takes advantage of the underlying corrupt system.

"IPL has come much later....it is only exploiting a corrupt sysem. It is just a very small part of the whole business. It is in limelight now but it will be forgotten soon. There is a whole bigger system of artificial matches that needs to be exposed," said Kumar.

"Awareness is the only way out. If people know the matches are already fixed then betters will be discouraged...they wouldn't want to lose their money. If there can be a system where there is some kind of warning for public that says this match might be fixed the that would make them think twice before betting. And betting is the motivation for fixing..so if betting stops..fixing will too," said Kumar.

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