Illegal betting, which allegedly claimed a life when a BBA student was killed by thugs after he tried to stop the unlawful practice in his area in Badda earlier this month, has had an impact on the Bangladesh Premier League governing council as 77 spectators involved in betting during yesterday’s BPL matches were handed over to stadium security and ejected from the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium (SBNS) in Mirpur.
Member secretary of BPL governing council IH Mallick informed of the development yesterday evening. 65 of the 77 were locals while 12 were foreigners, 10 of whom were Indians. However, Mallick added that there is not much more that the BCB can do to eradicate the problem apart from creating awareness as betting is a huge racket throughout the country that only the law enforcement agencies can stop.
“Apart from creating awareness we don’t have much to do as we are trying to caution spectators during the games through announcements on the giant screen. But we have nothing to do about the betting which is taking place all over the country as it’s a matter for law enforcement agencies,” said Mallick during a press conference in the evening. “We don’t have any specific law about betting in our country but we do have our anti-corruption and security unit in the stadium during matches. We are however unable to take legal action against them.”
This inability to take legal action was reflected in the words of Mirpur Thana’s additional deputy commissioner Mollah Jashim Uddin, who told The Daily Star that he was unaware of any such developments.
There is precedent of betting coming to the fore in Bangladesh’s cricket sphere. In the 2012 Asia Cup, two bookies were arrested at the venue during the Bangladesh Sri Lanka match. The BPL itself is no stranger to the racket as it was hit by a spot-fixing scandal in 2013 with a number of cricketers and officials, most notably Bangladesh batsman Mohammad Ashraful who is still serving the consequent ban, being found guilty.