Online punters back Aussies to win T20 crown

Published: Monday, September 17, 2007, 0:00 [IST]
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Ricky "Punter" Ponting's Australians are strong favourites in the online gambling world to win the ongoing Twenty20 World Championships in South Africa.

Australia bounced back after suffering a shock defeat against Zimbabwe to thrash England and Bangladesh and retain their place as title contenders, with British bookmaker Ladbrokes making them favourites with odds of 13-8.

Online punters have rallied behind Ponting's men to pocket the winners' cheque worth 2.24 million dollars.

"On paper, they (Australia) remain a dangerous side," says website readabet.com.

Hosts South Africa are second favourites at 4-1, followed by World Cup runners-up Sri Lanka (5-1), New Zealand (8-1), and Pakistan (12-1), according to betting site boylesports.com.

British bookmaker William Hill is offering odds of 14-1 on England to win the championships after they were thrashed by the Australians.

India are at 28-1 while Bangladesh, who knocked the West Indies out of the tournament, rate 100-1 on paddypower.com.

With more than five million dollars of prize money on offer, the inaugural event has attracted millions of dollars in bets, with some punters opting to use technology to avoid queues at betting shops, bookmakers said.

As technology becomes more sophisticated and wagering faster, big gaming players such as Ladbrokes and William Hill are now allowing cricket lovers to place bets from mobile phones or through interactive TV (I-TV).

Wireless application protocol (WAP) allows users to access the Internet through mobile phones or other hand-held wireless devices. I-TV allows viewers to bet using a remote control.

Online betting seems to appeal to the young and affluent, who prefer privacy when making a wager to a public queue outside a betting shop, notes British e-consultancy, Decipher.

Bookmaker betfair.com has Sri Lankan batsmen Sanath Jayasuriya, Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara among the favourites to score the fastest 50.

"Jayasuriya has been to the fore for the Sri Lankans, impressing with bat and ball and picking up the man-of-the-match award in both the games so far," says bettingzone.co.uk columnist Andy Schooler.

Bookmaker paddypower.com is offering odds of 9-1 that Australian opener Matthew Hayden will be the tournament's top run-scorer, followed by compatriot Adam Gilchrist (10-1).

Betfair.com has batsmen Brad Hodge, Luke Wright, Peter Fulton, Lou Vincent and Brendon McCullum all at 25-1

Australian paceman Brett Lee, who claimed a hat-trick against Bangladesh on Sunday, remains favourite with the ball, with paddypower.com rating him at 11-1 and popular Sri Lankan paceman Lasith Malinga at 14-1.

Also read...

Lee, Hayden star as Oz thrash Bangladesh
Twenty20 WC Photo gallery
Twenty20 WC schedules and points table

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