IPL bows to minister, withdraws SMS game

Published: Wednesday, May 13, 2009, 11:56 [IST]
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New Delhi: IPL has withdrawn with immediate effect its controversial SMS game following strong criticisms from India's sports minister MS Gill and many former cricketers.

SMS game which was introduced by IPL in this season asks fans to make ball by ball predictions for cash prizes in the ongoing Indian Premier League.

Earlier MS Ghill slammed  BCCI for using IPL to mint rather than promote the game of cricket in the country.

"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 said.

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SMS game has been widely criticised by cricket pundits and the BCCI has been accused of promoting betting through it.


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