New Delhi: Sports minister MS Ghill today came down heavily on BCCI for using IPL to mint rather than promote the game of cricket in the country.
Minister was referring to the SMS game which requires fans to make ball by ball predictions for cash prizes in the ongoing Indian Premier League.
"I see the commercial use of cricket for business gains, that is going on. I am concerned, at knowledgeable comments, from serious followers of cricket about the latest venture of encouraging viewers to make ball by ball predictions of runs scored for economic gain in the shape of cash prizes," Gill said in a statement.
"This is viewed as 'openly encouraging gambling and betting', which official bodies do not resort to, even in countries where betting is legal; all this 'to make money and enlarge their TV viewership base'," the minister added.
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SMS game has been widely criticised by cricket pundits and the BCCI has been accused of promoting betting through it.Sports minister said the BCCI should have thought of the damage done to the game by the 2000 match-fixing scandal before introducing such a game.