'Can't stop laughing' - Harsha Bhogle reacts as Gujarat locals dupe Russian punters with fake IPL

The fake tournament was planned by a Gujarat resident who worked in Russia for eight months.

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Harsha Bhogle
Harsha Bhogle. (Photo Source: Twitter)

The Indian Premier League has fans and followers all over the world, thanks to its brand value and lavish nature. The status of T20 cricket has increased dramatically as a result of this one-of-a-kind event. Meanwhile, a small group of individuals in Gujarat attempted to con some Russian gamblers by plotting a fake version of the gala competition. The matches took place at a local farm and the fraudsters were successful in tricking the foreigners.

Five high-definition cameras were mounted to record the action and farm workers were transformed into cricket players. While umpires utilized fake walkie-talkies to make it appear authentic, a Meerut-based commentator, who could imitate Harsha Bhogle, was employed as part of the scheme, which was the most intriguing and downright humorous aspect.

After coming across the news, Bhogle was left in splits and he expressed the same on social media. The Indian pundit shared a picture of the news on his Twitter handle and said: “Can’t stop laughing. Must hear this ‘commentator’.”

According to a report in the Times of India, some jobless youngsters from Molipur village, who numbered around 21, acted as the players. They alternated between donning the jerseys of the Gujarat Titans, Mumbai Indians, and Chennai Super Kings. To make it look real and authentic, they duped the crowd noise by using fake background music from the internet.

The Indian Premier Cricket League was the name of the fake competition, and the matches were broadcast live on a YouTube channel. The gang from Gujarat started the activities three weeks after the conclusion of the original event and created a Telegram group to invite bets from the Russians in order to launder money through their fake tournament.

The bogus IPL had progressed to the ‘quarter-final’ level before the organizers were apprehended by the Mehsana police. Shoeb Davda has reportedly been recognized as the “chief organizer” by the police, who had returned back to India after being employed in Russia for eight months.

“Shoeb hired the farm of Ghulam Masih and installed halogen lights there. He readied 21 farm labourers, promising them Rs 400 per match. Next, he hired cameramen and bought t-shirts of IPL teams. Shoeb would take live bets over the Telegram channel. He would instruct Kolu, the umpire, over a walkie-talkie to signal fours and sixes. Kolu communicated the same to the batsman and the bowler. Acting on the instructions, the bowler would deliver a slow ball, enabling the batsman to hit it for a four or a six,” police official Bhavesh Rathod was quoted as saying.

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