Mumbai: As Rajasthan Royals' S Sreesanth and two other players are arrested, the focus is back on spot-fixing which is the latest threat to cricket's image.
Spot-fixing is betting on the result of a certain ball or over, or the performance of an individual player, rather than the result of a match. It may or may not affect the eventual outcome of the match but does impact the scorecard. The bookies are not worried about the outcome of the match; they fix ball by ball and it is a lucrative business.
"We can fix where and when no-balls and wides will be bowled. It is lucrative for bookies as they know when no-balls will be bowled and they can place bets accordingly, a bookie told NDTV on the condition of anonymity.
But this is not something new to cricket and is prevalent in many parts of the world. "Spot-fixing is rampant in countries like Pakistan, Bangladesh and West Indies," the bookie we spoke to said.
Betting on sports is illegal in India but is allegedly big business in the IPL and is run by underground syndicates in Mumbai and other parts of the country. Sources say over 5000 crores are riding on bets placed on IPL each year. Bookies often operate out of vehicles now to avoid detection.
Three Pakistan test players - Salman Butt, Mohammad Asif, and Mohammad Amir - were banned and jailed for spot-fixing in 2011, after an inquiry found they had deliberately bowled no-balls in a Test Match at Lord's, in exchange for money.
With the latest controversy dealing a major blow to the image of cricket, administrators will have to devise new methods prevention and detection.