Cricket betting fever!

A crackdown on cricket betting rackets across the country is a must right now to protect numbers of innocent families from a devastating situation.

Despite negative impact on the money side, relationships or well-being, these illegal activities have not been stopped as yet and are still continuing across the country, especially when any internationally important games like football and cricket tournaments take place anywhere in the world.

Taking advantage of the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL) matches, a section of people of the county is betting on those matches and being made penniless under the very nose of the authority concerned.

A jewelry trader hailing from Baniachong under Habiganj is one such victim of cricket betting.

He had two shops. But due to his addiction to cricket betting, he is now like a beggar. Once upon a time, he was a successful businessman in the area. Now he is involved in cricket betting on loans. Finally, he had to sell his two profitable shops.

Transport owner  Nur Islam, hailing from Pakuria Union in Sherpur Sadar Upazila, had a brand new truck worth Tk 40 lakh. Four years ago, he started involving in cricket betting on IPL. At one stage, he sold his truck at Tk 25 lakh only. Now he is working as a driver of another truck owned by some other.  Many senior players have also ruined their careers by getting involved in match fixing or spot fixing. But cricket betting now is not limited to players or officials only.  Now it has spread from city to village, from tea shops to various clubs in the posh areas. They are betting openly through mobile phone or online. There is also cricket betting in the T20 version of cricket on mobile phones and betting site apps.

 Various criminal activities, including attacks, counter attacks, clashes and even murders are taking place due to the disputes over cricket betting. Law enforcing agencies have launched anti-betting drives in some parts of the country as IPL gambling has reached an alarming situation. Several people have also been arrested from various parts of the country. A few days ago, the local administration of Feni Municipality took the initiative to shut down the network of satellite TV channels after the evening to prevent cricket betting on IPL. Police have also started anti-betting drives in Kurigram.

Lt. Col. Ashiq Billah, director of the RAB's Legal and Media Wing said, “We are aware of such cricket betting. We have started working on it. Recently we arrested cricket gamblers from Naogaon.”

 Cricket gamblers are active in all parts of the capital. However, they are desperately active in the city’s Khilkhet, Tejgaon, Nakhalpara, Mohammadpur, Mirpur, Malibagh, Shantinagar, and Old Dhaka's Kotwali, Bangshal, Lalbagh, and KamrangirChar areas. IPL gambling is also going on in shops and clubs after evening.

Deputy Commissioner (Media and Public Relations) of Dhaka Metropolitan Police, Walid Hossain said, "We have also come to know about it. DMP commissioner specifically instructed all operational units of DMP to stop this cricket betting.”

As per his directive, we have started to keep gamblers under our surveillance, he further added.