Cricket Pic – There were floodlights, high-definition cameras and referees with walkie-talkies strapped to their shoulders. The cricketers wore colorful uniforms. The program had the voice of recognized commentators and the logo of a television channel recognized in the world: the BBC.
But it wasn’t the Indian Premier League, a lucrative cricket tournament that generates hundreds of millions of dollars every year. It was an elaborate scam, turning a large farm in a small village in the western Indian state of Gujarat into an arena of sporting excitement.
Police officials in Gujarat said over the weekend that they had busted a scheme run by four local men that defrauded Russian gamblers out of thousands of dollars over a 14-day period. The fake league was given a name that was close enough to the real one: the Indian Premier Cricket League.
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“It was all nonsense,” said Achal Tyagi, a senior police officer overseeing the investigation. “We have arrested four people and are also investigating Indians living in Russia who are involved in the scam.
The news of the audacious cheating, which swept across social media in India and the wider cricket world, has shocked fans of the sport known as the “gentleman’s game”, which has produced rivalries fierce internationals, the biggest cricket stars and lucrative profits.
About 24 “players” were involved in the prank. The men in the camp were actually unemployed country boys and construction workers. The “show” was broadcast on YouTube and the winners of the match have already been decided. Fake matches are played in Molipuri village.
Videos of the alleged clashes showed the players wearing the same color of jerseys as the I.P.L. Teams like Chennai Super Kings and Mumbai Indians. Cricket fakers have downloaded noisy crowd sound effects to enhance the experience of viewers online.
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Investigators said the players told them the referees had received instructions on walkie-talkies from the organizers standing at the side of the ground with their laptops. In turn, they diligently coached the players on when to give a slow ball to the batsman or get out to help the gang members earn more money from their bets.
Although the players realized the matches were fixed, investigators said they continued the trick for the equivalent of about $5 — a sum that, for jobless youth in rural India, was pretty good They have not been charged.
“They were given uniforms and promised 400 rupees for each match,” said Tinku Rathod, a farmer in Molipuri. “They were all happy.”
Police officials said that through the Telegram messaging app, the organizers of the scheme received bets from several Russian cities. Hundreds of miles away, an Indian man has been hired to imitate the voice of famous Indian cricket commentator Harsha Bhogle, who often comments on the real Premier League. The stupid Mr. Bogle was fired.
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The Indian Premier League, which was launched in 2007, is the world’s most valuable sports property. In India, it has turned what was once a niche game into a commercial juggernaut, attracting the world’s best players with multi-million dollar contracts.
The Indian Premier League has attracted the world’s best footballers with multi-million dollar contracts. Credit… Indranil Mukherjee / Agence France-Presse — Getty Images
Last month, Indian cricket’s governing body sold television and digital broadcast rights for a record $6.2 billion. But the league has also been embroiled in a series of betting scandals that saw two teams suspended for two years in 2013.
Authorities said the fake league began playing cheat games about three weeks after the real league finished its games in May. The league has not publicly addressed the fraud. Investigators were alerted to the scam by a local police officer who noticed suspicious parties taking place in the morning and evening with bullets.
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When the Special Investigation Team of the Gujarat Police reached the fake ground on Thursday, they checked the phones of the players and the laptops of the organizers and found several Telegram channels. The officials soon realized that an elaborate betting scam run by the four men sitting on the ground was going on and that they were being operated by another Indian working in Russia.
Mr. Tyagi, the police officer, said that during questioning, an organizer, who had returned to Molipuri, his native village, after working in a pub in Moscow that was known for taking bets, revealed that an Indian in Russia had suggested that he start a fake. League in his country to earn money.
“He was in constant contact with his partner in Russia,” Tyagi said. “These are new criminals with a technological bent of mind.”
When the suspects were caught, the fake league matches were in the semi-finals, with one more to go before the final. Then, after the trick was revealed, the YouTube channel went dark.
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Samer Yasir is a reporter for the New York Times. He joined The Times in 2020 and is based in New Delhi. @sameeryasir
A version of this article is printed in Section B, Page 8 of the New York edition under the headline: Fake League Cheats Players in Elaborate Hoax. Reprint Order | today’s paper | Subscription Although every effort has been made to adhere to the rules of the citation style, there may be some inconsistencies. Please refer to the appropriate style guide or other sources if you have any questions.
Andrew Longmore Senior Sports Writer, The Sunday Times (London); Former Assistant Editor, The Cricketer. Author of The Complete Guide to Cycling.
Rex Alston Broadcaster and Journalist. Sports commentator and reporter, British Broadcasting Corporation, 1942–61. Cricket Reporter, Daily and Sunday Telegraph (London), 1961–88. Author…
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Marcus K. Williams Senior Sports Staff Member, The Times (London). Editor of Double Century: 200 years of cricket in The Times.
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It is believed that cricket may have started in the 13th century as a game in which village boys hit the back of a sheep against a wooden log or an obstacle gate.
The first Test match was played between Australia and England in Melbourne in 1877, with Australia winning. When Australia won again at the Oval in Kennington, London in 1882
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Printed an obituary announcing that the English cricketer would be cremated and the ashes flown to Australia, creating an “Ash Play”.
The International Women’s Cricket Council was formed in 1958 by Australia, England, the Netherlands, New Zealand and South Africa and later included India, Denmark and several West Indies.
Cricket is played with bat and ball and involves two competing sides (teams) of 11 players each. Since there are 11 players in the team and 2 of them must be the bowler and the wicketkeeper, only 9 other positions can be occupied at any time.
Cricket, England’s national summer sport, is now played all over the world, particularly in Australia, India, Pakistan, the West Indies and the British Isles.
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Cricket is played with bat and ball and involves two competing sides (teams) of 11 players each. The field is oval, with a rectangular area in the middle known as the pitch, which is 22 yards (20.12 meters) by 10 feet (3.04 meters) wide. Two sets of three sticks, called wickets, are driven into the ground at each end of the field. At the top of each nest are horizontal parts called bails. The sides took turns batting and bowling (pitching); Each turn is called an “inning” (always a plural). The sides have one or two innings, depending on the pre-planned length of the match, with the aim of scoring the most runs. Bowlers who deliver the ball with the right arm try to break (hit) the ball with the ball so that the bails fail. This is one of the few ways in which a batsman is fired or dismissed. A bowler bowls six balls to one wicket (thus completing an ‘over’), then another player on his side bowls six balls to the opposite wicket. The hitting side defends its bubble.
Two batsmen stand at a time and the batsman who is bowled (striker) tries to hit the ball away from the wicket. A shot can be defensive or offensive. The defensive batsman can protect the wicket but does not leave time for the batsmen to run to the opposite wicket. In this case, the batsmen do not need to run and the game is resumed with another bowl. If a batsman is able to make an attacking stroke, he and the other batsman (the non-striker) will exchange places at the second wicket. Whenever both batsmen can reach the opposite wicket, a run is scored. Provided they have enough time without being caught or dismissed, the batsmen can continue to cross back and forth between the wickets, scoring an extra run each time the two reach opposite ends. There is an outer boundary around the cricket field. A ball hit in or out of bounds scores four points if hit
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