October 8, 2011

Bets 1, Debts 0

Nikita Bastian

Ever longed for a quick fix for all your debt issues? Former Pakistan captain Imran Khan found a unique solution: betting tips. In his new book, Pakistan: A Personal History, Imran talks about using his vast cricketing knowledge to help his brother-in-law, Ben Goldsmith, place bets on an England-South Africa Test; in exchange, Imran got some money to help clear his political party Tehreek-e-Insaf’s debts.

“It took me a year to clear the debts the party had incurred during the [2002 parliamentary] elections,” he wrote. “I cleared our last remaining debts in an unusual way; I was with my family in England, and my brother-in-law, Ben Goldsmith, kept asking me about what would happen in an England-South Africa Test match.

“I discovered his interest came from his 'spread-betting' on the game. I decided to watch the match, and that every pound he made … would go towards clearing my party's debt. I have never gambled in my life and have never understood its attraction, but for the sake of clearing my party's debts I watched the Test match with Ben for the next two days, telling him what to do and when.”

And yes, the pair was quite successful – so successful, in fact, that the bookie’s interest was piqued. “At one point the bookie asked, ‘Mr Goldsmith, you don't happen to be sitting with your brother-in-law, do you?’”

Nikita Bastian is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

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