As long as cricket has been around, in the world, attached to it has been a special vice for any society. Gambling. For every ball, every shot, every run scored and every wicket, somebody earns a fortune, while others usually bleed money.
The Pakistan Super League season 3 is about to reach its conclusive stages. With Islamabad United already in the final, eyes have now turned to Quetta and Peshawar, who play in Lahore. The winner of the match will play a semi-final against Karachi Kings, the winner of which will play the final in Karachi against Islamabad United.
Throughout the PSL, and any such T20 extravaganza, all over the world, the most feared unnecessary necessity attached to it is betting and gambling. The Indian Premier League has been highlighted for its fixed matches and long books. Yesterday, during the Karachi Kings vs Islamabad United semi-final, Karachi police raided a house in Khayaban-e-Badban, Defence, Karachi.
At the raid, police found a host of different activities going on. The said ‘den’ had been active throughout the PSL season, as bookies rallied up daily to place bets and earn money. Sindh police arrested 15 bookies who were caught red handed, while the force was also able to recover Rs. 65 lakhs in local and foreign currency, along with expensive watches and other valuables.
Karachi has remained Pakistan’s betting hub for cricket. Bookies usually set up shops and open voices for punters. Punters are the people who bet on matches, while bookies are the people who give them the rate-difference between teams (the one who punters bet to). Hundreds of Karachiites daily, during the PSL season, place bets on match winners, ball-by-ball action, 6-over fancies and top scorers/wicket takers of the match.
The police report also claimed that around 100 other bookies were still active in Karachi. Last week, a similar raid was conducted at a house in Islamabad, where 29 bookies were arrested by the Kohsar police. Rs. 80,000 of stake money was confiscated along with 400 grams of Charas.
With the PSL coming as close to home as it can, detailed scrutiny is being conducted at all levels, of which such raids are a part of. This is the second controversy to hit PSL after administration previously, allegedly, sold tickets of the final match in bulk to buyers who would later on sell them in the black-market (on demanded rates).
Karachiites, for one, cannot wait for the final match and have been praying their team makes it to the end. As for the bookies, there’s a harsh crackdown being carried out all over the country against illegal betting on the beautiful game.