Shopian: Though cricket is not played much in Shopian district because of lack of enough playgrounds, but when it is, there is rampant betting and profiteering involved.
Many tourneys in the district are organised with thousands of rupees taken from the teams as participation fees. However, the winners and runners-up are given very little of the collected amount, because the rest goes in the pockets of organisers and betters.
“There is no one to keep check on the games being played. At places lakhs are collected and teams are given re-entry even after they lose,” said Tanveer Ahmad Lone, a budding cricketer.
Also, all the guidelines and SOPs issued by the government and health experts to prevent spread of Covid-19 are violated during cricket matches. Shopian district has so far reported 29 Covid-related deaths and around 1,800 cases.
Players say that talent is sidelined by money as at every place the organisers give only one chance to a team despite taking thousands of rupees as tournament fees.
“The department of youth services and sports is responsible for this mess. They organise matches only for media promotion and rest of the time they leave sports to these scamsters,” said Musaib Ahmad, who has played in many tourneys in different areas of the district. He said that the playgrounds turn into betting grounds during tournaments.
Some youths told Kashmir Reader that for betting purposes, only six balls by both the teams are played and five-thousand to thirty-thousand rupees are bet upon these 12 deliveries.
District Sports Officer Gurmeet Singh after listening to this reporter’s queries said that it would be better to speak to the coordinator of his office, Riyaz Ahmad. He disconnected the call when asked why the sports department is not keeping a check on betting and profiteering in the name of sports.