COVID-19 bio-bubbles will help keep away match-fixers in IPL 2020: BCCI Anti-Corruption Unit Chief
By Vivek Raj | Galatta | Aug 21, 2020, 08:00 pm
Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) Anti-Corruption Unit Chief Ajit Singh addressed the issue of match-fixing in the upcoming thirteenth season of the Indian Premier League (IPL) and how bookies and match-fixers will find a hard time in approaching cricketers in the "bio-bubbles".
IPL 2020 scheduled to be held in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) will see the eight franchise teams confined to bio-bubbles, which will aid anti-corruption officials in "keeping a watch on people", the BCCI ACU Chief told international press agency, AFP. "Controlling interaction between players and others will not be very difficult.", he said. Mr Singh added that two liaison officers will be assigned to monitor each team during the 53-day cash-rich tournament to be played from September 19 to November 10. He further stated that players' Twitter comments will also be keenly watched for any coded messages.
IPL has often been surrounded by corruption, match-fixing and spot-fixing controversies ever since its inception in 2008. Last year, Bangladesh all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan was suspended over failing to report corrupt approaches, with one of them in regard to the IPL. Likewise, the Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals franchises were issued suspension orders for two seasons in 2015 after a scandal in 2013. The scandal saw Rajasthan Royals bowler Shanthakumaran Sreesanth getting a life ban along with teammates Ankit Chavan and Ajit Chandila for illegal spot-fixing and betting. All three of them were arrested in 2013 with a number of bookies after an investigation was launched into allegations that the players underperformed in matches for cash. Eventually, Sreeshanth's ban went on to be revoked last year by India's top court.
The BCCI stands to gain huge revenue every year from the IPL. Prior to the COVID-19 outbreak, it was expected to make more than $11 billion for the Indian economy each year. So far, Rajasthan Royals and Kings XI Punjab have left for the UAE, with the Chennai Super Kings squad following suit to the UAE to begin preparations for IPL 2020, which will begin after they undergo a week's isolation. Other teams are slated to follow in the days ahead for the tournament, which will have its matches played in venues at Sharjah, Abu Dhabi and Dubai.