Abu Dhabi, Feb 7: International Cricket Council (ICC) chief executive Haroon Lorgat is in favour of legalisation of sports gambling in India while staying optimistic of a corruption-free World Cup in the sub-continent.
There has rarely been a cricket corruption scandal without an Indian nexus and the lobby is growing to legalise betting in a country where legal gambling is restricted to horse-racing while casinos are permitted only in a couple of states.
Lorgat and his colleagues in the ICC have held discussions about urging the Indian government to legalise cricket gambling, according to a report in The National newspaper on Monday.
"I agree with the notion that if it is regulated it is a lot better than if it is not regulated," Lorgat was quoted as saying. "We have made inquiries, and these are the things we are working towards."
For want of concrete figures, media reports claim an India-Pakistan one-day international draws bets worth $20 million through an illegal syndicate of which Mumbai is considered the hub.
Lorgat, however, is confident that the Feb 19-Apr 2 World Cup, which India co-hosts along with Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, would be free of corruption with ICC's anti-corruption unit bolstering up its presence.