India

Indian Premier League: Three held over betting

Spectators cheer as Delhi Daredevils cricketers celebrate the wicket of Deccan Chargers batsman J.P. Duminy during the IPL Twenty20 cricket match between Deccan Chargers and Delhi Daredevils at The Feroz Shah Kotla stadium in New Delhi on April 19, 2012. Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The IPL is hugely popular in India

Police have arrested three people suspected of illegal betting in the Indian Premier League (IPL).

The men were arrested on Thursday at a hotel where two IPL teams were staying after a match in the northern city of Kanpur

Police told the BBC that the men had contact with low-level staff at Green Park stadium to obtain information about the condition of the pitch.

Two IPL teams and three players were banned in 2013 on corruption charges.

The IPL is considered to be the world's showcase for Twenty20 cricket. Top Indian and international players take part, contributing to what is one of the world's most-watched cricket tournaments.

But the tournament has also faced allegations of corruption, spot-fixing and bribery. Spot-fixing involves players bowling wides and no-balls at certain times arranged beforehand with bookmakers.

Other than horse racing, sports betting of any kind is illegal in India. Despite that, illegal betting syndicates are known to be active in the country.

Rahul Srivastava, chief spokesperson of the police, said the men secured information about the pitch's condition through WhatsApp to influence their betting decisions.

"We are questioning the arrested individuals to find out if more people are involved in the betting racket," he said.

Police arrested the men after a tip-off from the Board of Control for Cricket in India's anti-corruption unit, he said.