Guest post written by Paul Micelli
It hasn’t been long since UK newspapers revealed stories of alleged match fixing in international cricket. Following an undercover operation involving an agent who reportedly accepted a £150,000 down payment for information relating to the delivery of no-balls in the fourth test at Lord’s, three Pakistani cricketers are now undergoing police investigation with a fourth set to be named this week. With stories of ball tampering being rife amongst players and far-eastern gambling syndicates placing pressure on players to throw games with cash bribes, is there still such a thing as a genuine cricket bet?
Thankfully, the UK cricket betting market shouldn’t suffer too big a backlash from the alleged actions of overseas players. Although a little confidence may be lost in terms of recent international matches, there is still a massive amount of cricket action that can be enjoyed on both a global and regional scale. The forthcoming Ashes Tour, which begins at the end of November 2010, will do much to restore faith in what is, essentially, an open and honest game. The familiar sight of two old adversaries going head-to-head in an inspiringly traditional competition should serve to dampen any concerns that many bettors may be having over cricket betting at the moment.
Away from international cricket, the UK boasts some of the most exciting cricket betting action in the world. County games are played on a daily basis throughout the summer and the introduction of the 20-over game has led to a new glut of gambling activity over the last couple of years. Spread betting and odds betting are both popular ways of enjoying a speculative wager on most cricket matches.
Odds betting is a traditional form of gambling which sees investors betting on outright results, although many bookmakers now offer a series of special bets (such as odds on the overall score in a test series) to increase gambling activity. Spread betting, particularly in the UK, is a form of wagering that can be best described as predicting events that occur within the match itself. Investors can place bets on runs scored, top batsman, the highest wicket taker, the number of runs scored in an over, partnerships and many more.
Naturally, successful gambling in cricket is no different to successful gambling in any other sport. There will always be a number of influential factors that can have a direct effect on the result of a game. It is here where the serious gambler will enjoy a definite edge over the casual bettor. A thorough understanding of weather conditions, previous results at the ground being played on and the recent form of individual players will all serve to bring the odds back into the favour of a committed cricketing fan. Even so, gambling on cricket remains as a fun betting alternative for casual punters and the recent stories about alleged match fixing should do little to dissuade sports fans from participating in some of the excellent betting opportunities available.