Hyderabad: The World Cup final between India and Sri Lanka at Wankhade Stadium in Mumbai on Saturday seem to have triggered off an unprecedented betting by cricket crazy punters all over the state involving an estimated amount to the tune of Rs.5000 crores.
Despite strict vigilance and warnings by the police, bookies are stated to be busy operating clandestinely and accepting bettings in lakhs of rupees in different parts of the state including in the twin cities. Even during the semi final match between India and Pakistan played at Mohali on Wednesday, cricket bettings continued unabated with lakhs of rupees changing hands between the bookies and punters. Though the bookies exhibited great caution in offering odds due to the fluctuating fortunes between the two teams during the course of the play, the punters seem to have been benefited more than the bookies with the former backing the men in blue.
Though the final match cannot be considered as “mother of all battles”, the tussle between the two former champions has triggered off an unprecedented betting frenzy has reached a crescendo on the eve of the match with bookies offering lucrative odds on whether master blaster Sachin Tendulkar would complete his 100th century in ODIs.
The city police already a number of arrests during the past few days nabbing some small-time bookies, the big fish have been evading the nets laid by the cops. The Commissioner of Police Mr. A. K. Khan and the Deputy Commissioner of Police (West Zone) Mr. Stephen Ravindra has issued stern warnings against those indulging in the cricket bettings. A close watch seem to have been already in force on suspected bookies specially in Banjara Hills and Jubilee Hills where bettings are stated to be taking place on a high pitch. Hotels, pubs, apartments, guest houses etc are being close monitored by the plain clothes men to check any bettings taking place. (NSS).