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Bookies were scared to approach Sourav Ganguly

All time Left handed ODI XI
Sourav Ganguly. (© Getty Images)

Back in 2010, former Indian captain Sourav Ganguly revealed that none of the bookies ever approached him. He took over the captaincy after the match-fixing exposes in 2000. According to the reports from SportsKeeda, a former bookie told them that they were scared to approach Ganguly.

The bookie said, “During the time Sourav Ganguly was the captain, most bookies wanted him to fix matches. Not just him, even Sachin Tendulkar and Anil Kumble, because they knew if they could have them on their side, they could influence the entire team as per the odds. But, they also knew that it could never happen, because Dada was one of the most patriotic captains. The bookies were scared to approach him as they knew, he would turn them in. So, it was a grown consensus that Ganguly cannot be sold and no one had the guts to approach him, as it could put their business in jeopardy”

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When Dada was asked why he was never approached by a bookie, the prince of Kolkata said, “Maybe the bookies judge players by their characters before approaching them. I always attempted to put an appearance where I would take none of this kind of non-sense. Yes, conversations between players about these things did come up, but it never went beyond that.”

Speaking about details of fixing during the early 2000’s, the source said, “It’s very weird how people have stereotypes of fixing in their head. They think the bookie, directly approaches the player with money. You have to understand that the essential driving force for everyone is money, anybody can be sold. So, hotel staff, drivers, officials and office boys, they are all essential to the entire scheme. There also code words that are used. No one approaches the player saying ‘yeh le paisa,’ it’s more ‘Dadaji theek hai na, Sir,’ which acted as a signal for the money reaching the right place.”

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As mentioned above, a similar sort of tactic was used in the Indian Premier League (IPL) spot-fixing case, in which the driver who acted as a messenger of information earned nearly INR 2.5 crore. The source added, “Since I’ve been out of the business for a while now, I cannot comment on the current state. But, during that time, if you could convince the cricketer to fix once, you’re sorted. Post that you can even give him the lesser amount, as we have it on record that he fixed. So, if he gives in the first time, after that it becomes like a vicious circle.”

According to the source, ball-by-ball betting produces the highest profit. The batsman would even be asked to play slow, to reduce over-rate and thereby reduce the number of runs in a session. He said, “In those days, ball by ball never mattered, what really brought in the money was session betting, where people bet on how much a player or team would make in a session. The player was asked to play slow for around 20 – 25 minutes, the player doesn’t even think he is cheating, as he attempts to play quicker later and make it up. But what he doesn’t know is that the session score reduces and that’s what people bet on. A session usually lasted like 8-13 overs 13-21 overs, those were designated before the match.”

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According to the reported source, who was a bookie before the IPL begun, India-Pakistan matches produces the maximum amount of money, followed by the World Cup and the Ashes.

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