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11th Jul 2022

Indian farmers arrested for setting up fake IPL and scamming gamblers for thousands

Daniel Brown

They hired a field, set up cameras and paid locals to dress up in team uniforms. The footage is something else

A group of conmen have been arrested by police in India after creating a fake version of cricket’s Indian Premier League (IPL) to trick gamblers in Russia.

Police confirmed that the people betting on the made-up league – which began three weeks after the actual IPL finished in May – lost more than 300,000 rupees (almost $4,000).

The conmen staged the game on a farm in Gujarat, paying labourers to pretend to be players. The people involved wore kits of real IPL teams and a bogus umpire was told when to signal a boundary or wicket.

As well as this, they also hired a man to mimic famous cricket commentator Harsha Bhogle.

The matches were shown live on a YouTube channel called ‘IPL’. The channel never showed a wide shot of the pitch and the sounds were also fake, with crowd noise sound effects downloaded from the internet and played through a speaker.

Players were paid around 400 rupees ($5) per match, with the conmen even managing to reach the quarter-finals stage of their so-called “Indian Premier Cricket League” before police caught them.

Police inspector Bhavesh Rathod told reporters that Russian gamblers placed bets on a Telegram channel set up by the group, who then communicated with the fake umpire through walkie-talkies.

The fake umpire would then “signal the bowler and batsman to hit a six, four or get out”, Mr Rathod revealed.

As reported by Reuters, police have arrested four people in connection with the case, with the suspects charged with criminal conspiracy and gambling – given that betting on cricket is illegal in India.