September 9, 2011

India in England, 2011

Tendulkar's loss is bookies' gain

Akhila Ranganna

It’s not just the Indian cricket team who have been battered and bruised in their ongoing tour of England. Even the punters have been left reeling in the wake of one of India’s most disastrous tours in recent memory, where India have failed to win a game against England so far. The only ones rejoicing? According to a report in the Times of India, it’s the bookmakers, whose earnings have shot through the roof. And the No. 1 reason for their windfall? Sachin Tendulkar’s failure to reach his 100th hundred. Tendulkar made 34, 12, 16, 56, 1, 40, 23 and 91 in the four Tests, after which an injury ended his tour.

According to the report, bets were placed in three categories on Tendulkar's prospective 100th ton: If Tendulkar scored a century in any of the four Tests, punters would have gained Rs 1.40 for every rupee. Match-wise, the odds for that were Rs. 2.50 for every rupee. The stakes were the highest for specific innings-wise bets, which would have fetched punters Rs 4.50 for every rupee.

"This is the first time we enjoyed huge returns without losing a single rupee on Sachin,” a bookie told the newspaper. “This has been by far our biggest gain on the Little Master in the last two-three seasons.”

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Akhila Ranganna is assistant editor (Audio) at ESPNcricinfo

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