The Indian Premier League (IPL), the world's most popular T20 league, kicks off at United Arab Emirates from September 19. And the league which has had its problems with illegal betting and match-fixing is this time taking the technology route, data and digital methods to be precise, to keep the matches clean.
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), which owns and runs the IPL, has entered into a tie-up with Sportradar AG, a company that provides sports integrity solutions and sports data products.
Sportradar AG will help the BCCI's anti-corruption unit (ACU) in monitoring and safeguarding the integrity of matches during the IPL.
The entire IPL season, which will be on till November 10, will come under the radar of Sportradar.
Apart from integrity services to detect betting irregularities, the company is expected to give a risk assessment to BCCI, driven by intelligence and data-driven insights.
Sportradar Integrity Services’ managing director Andreas Krannich was quoted in the Mint newspaper as saying, “as the global leader in sporting integrity, we hope to provide our expertise and help protect the tournament against integrity-related issues. We know that the BCCI takes integrity seriously, and we look forward to working alongside them throughout the tournament and to provide our support to their integrity programme".
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What is Sportradar AG's role?
Sportradar has come up with a unique Fraud Detection System (FDS), and other advanced Monitoring & Detection services. It monitors the entire global betting market and detects betting-related fraud in sport.
As per its website, Sportradar provides monitoring, intelligence, education, and consultancy solutions to sports governing bodies, leagues, state authorities, and law enforcement agencies to support them in the fight against betting-related match-fixing and corruption.
"Our mission is to detect, investigate and prevent betting-related match-fixing, doping and other threats to the integrity of sport, as well as building strong partnerships with industry stakeholders," the company says.
Sportradar’s Intelligence & Investigation Services team has assisted more than 80 partners in identifying and investigating integrity threats to countries. These include federations, clubs, national anti-doping organisations and law enforcement.
"As well as increasing awareness of betting-related match-fixing, doping and other threats to sport among participants, administrators and state authorities, we also want to help our partners tackle these problems in the most effective and sustainable way."
Sportradar is the official partner of various sports leagues, NBA, NFL, NHL, MLB Nascar, FIFA and UEFA Champions League.
IPL and illegal betting
The IPL has had its share of controversies through illegal betting and match-fixing allegations against club owners and players.
In India, betting on cricket matches is illegal, and during the tournament it is not uncommon to find the illegal betting syndicate to be active across the country.
In the IPL, two major clubs the Chennai Super Kings and the Rajasthan Royals were banned for two years (2016 and 2017) after it emerged that their owners were involved in match-fixing and betting.
Earlier in 2013, the BCCI banned Indian international cricketer Santhakumaran Sreesanth along with his Rajasthan Royals teammates Ajit Chandila and Ankeet Chavan for their alleged involvement in spot-fixing.
The IPL is being held this year in UAE, which was once considered as the global headquarters of illegal betting syndicate in cricket.
Perhaps that is why the BCCI has appointed a company that will put to use digital technology to keep a vigil against betting and match-fixing.
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Over three decades as a journalist covering current affairs, politics, sports and now technology. Former Editor of News Today, writer of humour columns across publications and a hardcore cricket and cinema enthusiast. He writes about technology trends and suggest movies and shows to watch on OTT platforms.