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  Wednesday, 23 May, 2001, 09:37 GMT 10:37 UK
How to be corrupt in cricket
Arrested Delhi businessman Rajesh Kalra
Delhi businessman Rajesh Kalra, accused of corruption
Sir Paul Condon's report into match-fixing highlights how to be corrupt. BBC Sport Online investigates.

You don't have to persuade all 11 players to throw a match to make illicit money from cricket.

  Example of a spread bet
Bookmaker says a player will score 40-45 runs.
Punter expects a higher result, and "buys" at 5 (he can choose his own stake).
He wins or loses his stake multiplied by the difference between prediction and result.
If the player scores 60 runs, the punter wins 75. (60 - 45 = 15 x 5 = 75).
If the player scores only 38 runs, the punter loses 35 (45 - 38 = 7 x 5 =35).

The rise of spread betting makes it much easier for corrupt players, gamblers or bookmakers to make a killing on a match.

In "traditional" fixed odds betting, a punter can usually put money only on which team will win the game, or who will be top batsman.

But spread betting allows you to bet on much smaller events, such as how may runs an individual player will score or how many wickets a bowler will take.

This is great fun for fans. It is also harder to predict and therefore potentially more profitable for all concerned.

But it also widens the scope for corrupt money-making.

Alan Alger, of City Index, says: "It doesn't take a whole team to fix a particular market.

"One or two players can decide to have an off day and benefit accordingly."

Graham Cowdrey, former Kent batsman and now cricket expert for Sporting Index, agrees.

"It can only be said that spread betting does encourage corruption, because it has so many more markets," he says.

However, he points out most of the corruption by players which has so far been proved has been relatively venial.
Mark Waugh admitted giving pitch information

In 1998, for example, Australian cricketers Shane Warne and Mark Waugh admitted offering a Sri Lankan bookmaker weather and pitch information.

"It was a wicked thing to do," Cowdrey explains, "because for a bookmaker, or punter come to that, information like that would be crucial.

"But there is a huge distinction to be drawn between that and rigging the results of the game."

Disgraced South African captain, Hansie Cronje, who admitted dishonesty, faced the more serious allegation that he rigged an entire one-day match - a claim he has always denied.

Golden boy of Australian cricket Shane Warne tarnished his reputation
But despite all the concerns over spread betting and corruption in cricket, Cowdrey retains his faith.

"I was involved in playing for 15 years, admittedly at a much lower level, and I never saw anything like that," he says.

"And as a firm, if we ever suspected anyone was rigging the results, we would stop trading on the game immediately."

Sporting Index suffered one of its biggest losses during cricket's 1999 World Cup.

The firm predicted that there would be between 240-260 wides in the entire tournament.

But a number of cricket fans correctly disagreed, realising that the total was likely to be higher since a white ball, more liable to swing than the traditional red ball, was being used.

In the event more than 900 wides were bowled.

So if a lucky punter had "bought" the total with a stake of 10 he would have walked away with a profit of over 6,000.

In-depth section on corruption in cricket

The clean-up begins

The key players

Background features



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