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India is keen to bring in a new law to counter the threat of spot-fixing in cricket

Shanthakumaran Sreesanth on tour in England two years ago

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The Indian Government is keen to introduce a new law to counter the threat of spot-fixing in cricket.

This follows-on from arrests made last week of a number of players and bookmakers.

Former Test bowler Shanthakumaran Sreesanth and two other players were arrested along with 11 bookmakers on Thursday on suspicion of spot-fixing in India's Twenty20 IPL.

The cricket board immediately suspended the trio who have been accused of taking money to concede a certain number of runs in a particular over.

India's Minister of Law, Kapil Sibal, has consulted sports minister Jitendra Singh with a view to a new bill being introduced during the next session of the country's parliament.


Sports secretary PK Deb said: "We have been looking at different ways to control and regulate that part of illegal betting.

"We have been studying how they deal with it in the UK and Australia, and the information we have gathered will be shared with the Law Ministry. But we are still some distance away from it."

Legal sports betting in India is confined to horse racing while illegal betting syndicates thrive in the absence of a law dealing specifically with corruption in sport.

Media estimates have put the amount gambled on India's Twenty20 competition at $427million for 2009.

Law Minister Sibal said: "We need to have a separate law.

"I don't think the Indian Penal Code has match fixing and spot-fixing as an offence and I don't think the 'offence of cheating' is something that adequately deals with issues of spot-fixing and match-fixing.

"I have requested my ministry to work on such a law. Once the broad parameters of the law are made out, I'll hand it over to the sports ministry to take it to the cabinet and hopefully introduce it in the coming session of the parliament."