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Australian bookies favour Aussies for Ashes series

Published: Monday, February 14, 2005, 23:53 [IST]
 
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Sydney:Local bookmakers here believe the Australians have the beating of England in this year's Ashes series even though there is money coming in for the home side in cricket's time-honoured contest.

While England have been given their best chance in years to win back the Ashes, bookmakers here do not see anything to change their view that it will be Ricky Ponting's team who will take the honours once again this northern summer.

Most of them have Australia at 2-1 on -- you have to bet two dollars to get one back -- to win the five-match Test series and wrap up a record ninth consecutive Ashes victory.

England are rated around 3-1 against to end a losing streak dating back to 1989.

"Betting against Australia is a very risky business," Australia's CentreBet spokesman Gerard Daffy said Monday.

"I think England are at their right price now. They keep wheeling out all these names that are going to rescue them and win the Ashes back but they're blokes that have been playing for a long time anyway.

"They're obviously going to be competitive to some degree ... There's been plenty of money around for England to win based on a couple of questionable wins in South Africa and against West Indies -- hardly enlightening form to be taking on the best side in the world.

"We've been betting on this for six months. We did have England at 4-1 at one stage but even at 11-4 we continue to see money for them."

Daffy has written one bet of 5,000 Australian dollars (3,900 USD) at 3-1 from an English punter but the big money on cricket usually comes from India, where professionals tend to wait until the last minute to avoid the chances of injury to key players.

"We haven't sighted the Indian punters yet but historically they back Australia in everything, so I'd say getting closer to the event that's where the money will be.

"They just love Australia because you always get a good run for your money."

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