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Gill lashes out at IPL for SMS-based games
New Delhi, May 9 (IANS):
Published on 9 May. 2009 11:50 PM IST
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Sports Minister M.S. Gill Saturday lashed out at the Indian Premier League (IPL) for introducing SMS-based ball-to-ball predictions, dubbing it “commercial use of cricket for business gains” and criticised the Indian board for allowing it. Gill viewed predicting games as gambling and asked the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to restrain the IPL authorities from such acts. “I am concerned about the latest venture, of encouraging viewers, to make ball by ball predictions, of runs scored, for economic gain, in the shape of cash prizes. This is viewed as openly encouraging gambling and betting, which official bodies do not resort to, even in countries where betting is legal; all this to make money and enlarge their TV viewership base,” Gill said in a statement. “All these are concerns, which must be taken note of, by those who run the game. I would suggest to the BCCI, to always bear in mind, that as the richest and most powerful sports body (in India) today, they have a larger responsibility to discharge,” he said. Gill also said that the match-fixing scandal in 2000 had done a lot of harm to cricket in India and the BCCI should not allow such things to crop up again. “The actions of the BCCI are bound to impact the thinking in other sports, sometime or the other. We have already had, sometime back, a match-fixing scandal, in the game. It seems the ICC had expressed concerns about such possibilities, in the IPL league,” said Gill. “They should bear in mind, that today’s commercially successful venture, may not be so, in five years time, and the game has to be protected for future generations. Modify the structure by all means, but after grave and serious consideration, of the larger ethical and moral questions, and the long term interest of the game,” he said.

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