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Govt mulls law on sports betting, BCCI tightens screws

Govt mulls law on sports betting, BCCI tightens screws

New Delhi: The Union ministries of sports and law have started consultations to draft a new law to deal with betting in sports, in the wake of the Indian Premier League (IPL) spot-fixing scandal, even as further steps are being taken against the three players accused in the scam.

"Yes, I talked to Sports Minister Jitendra Singh. We will soon draft a new law to deal with the menace of betting," Law Minister Kapil Sibal said in the capital Monday.

"The confidence of people in sports is shattered when such controversies erupt. While people think whatever is happening in the field is in the interest of the game, facts turn out to be otherwise." On Thursday, the Special Cell of Delhi Police had arrested pacer S Sreesanth and his Rajasthan Royals teammates, Ajit Chandila and Ankeet Chavan for alleged spot-fixing in at least three IPL matches in arrangements with bookies suspected of underworld connections abroad.

Delhi Police today arrested three more people, including a former Ranji player. The police have asked hotels in Mumbai, Chandigarh, Kolkata and Hyderabad to provide CCTV footage to scan meetings of the three arrested cricketers with bookies. Police are also planning to seek permission for collecting voice samples of the players.

Royals to take action
Today, the owners of the Rajasthan Royals team decided to take legal action against their three arrested players.

The owners stated their intention at the BCCI's emergency working committee meeting in Chennai, called to discuss the issue. Twenty-eight members participated, while several others joined through video conference, including IPL Chairman Rajeev Shukla, Bharatiya Janata Party leader Arun Jaitley and former cricketer Anil Kumble.

N Srinivasan, president, BCCI, told reporters after the meeting the board would conduct an internal inquiry. He said, "The inquiry will be headed by Ravi Sawani (who heads the BCCI anti-corruption unit). He was appointed as the commissioner of the inquiry. A report will be submitted to the disciplinary committee of BCCI after which we will take action."

Srinivasan also said that henceforth, all players and agents would need to be accredited and access to players would be monitored strictly. Besides an anti-corruption official would be attached with all IPL teams. "We cannot control bookies and we cannot police them. We don't have resources also. The anti corruption wing under the Board has certain limitations," said Srinivasan.

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