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BCCI extends match-fixing crackdown to regional leagues
Corruption In Cricket

BCCI extends match-fixing crackdown to regional leagues

India's cricket board has increased its efforts to curb match-fixing by extending its crackdown to regional leagues following the arrest of a franchise owner for making illegal bets.

Ashfaq Ali Thara, owner of Belagavi Panthers in the Karnataka Premier League, was arrested by Central Crime Branch (CCB) in Bengaluru on Tuesday.

Thara also owns a team in the Dubai T10 League and investigations are currently underway over his possible role in any fixing activities.

"He has been arrested for betting and they are investigating other aspects," said Ajit Singh, chief of the anti-corruption unit of the Board of Control for Cricket in India.

Thara is alleged to have been making illegal bets through a Dubai-based bookie.

The arrest comes just a week after accusations surfaced regarding corruption and match-fixing approaches to players in the Tamil Nadu Premier League - another regional T20 competition.

A cricketer belonging to the India women's team also reported an approach by a bookie with the two suspects now detained by the Karnataka police.

'Vigilance and awareness have increased'

Singh claimed there was a renewed focus to eradicate such illicit activities in state-level leagues.

"The vigilance and awareness have increased and people are coming forward with it," he said.

"We have been conducting education classes for the players. We have been in touch with the associations also."

The Indian Premier League was jolted by a spot-fixing scandal in 2013 which famously involved international cricketer S. Sreesanth.

The players part of the fixing controversy were banned while the contracts of two IPL teams were suspended for two years.

Gambling in India is mostly unlawful but illegal bookmakers residing in the country and abroad continue to propagate this practice.

Online gambling has made its way into the Indian sports market and cricket suffers the consequences of this development.

Other T20 leagues around the world have been affected by fixing scandals over the years leading to bans on several players.

#Corruption in Cricket#India