Sachin Tendulkar's 200th Test: Betting worth for final match reaches Rs 2,000 crore

Sachin Tendulkar will play his 200th and final Test for India against West Indies in Mumbai at Wankhede Stadium © Getty Images

By S Balakrishnan

Nov 8, 2013

Sachin Tendulkar is not aware of it, but the fact is that Rs 2,000 crore are riding on his performance in his 200th and final Test for India to be played against the West Indies at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai from November 14. “Never in the past has bettingdom witnessed such frenzy,’’ said a leading bookie.

Bettors are known to be a hard-nosed lot who do their homework before placing bets. However, this time, they have got carried away by the hype surrounding Tendulkar’s last Test appearance.

They are being guided by emotions instead of a calculation of the match’s outcome and Tendulkar’s performance.

Apart from Mumbai, high excitement in the betting world is being witnessed in other centres such as Indore, Ahmedabad, Delhi, Jaipur and Kolkata and in foreign cities like Dubai and London.

Heavy betting is also expected on online sites like Ladbrokes and Betfred.

Tendulkar’s dismal performance (only 10 runs) on the second day of the first Test in Kolkata on Thursday has not dampened bettors’ enthusiasm. They took solace in the fact that the LBW decision by English umpire Nigel Llong came in for heavy criticism from several quarters.

The odds of India winning the match at Eden Gardens is 13 paise, which means for every rupee bet, the bettor will get Rs 1.13 paise if India wins; the odds on West Indies winning the match is Rs 8 and for the Test ending in a draw is Rs 15. The chances of Tendulkar scoring a century in the second innings is tipped at Rs 4.

Now, the focus is more on the big fight next week at the Wankhede Stadium overlooking the Arabian Sea. The odds on Tendulkar scoring a century in either of the innings was 90 paise on Thursday night. The bhaav or odds for other categories like Tendulkar being adjudged as Man-of-the-Match, getting out LBW, going for a duck, scoring less or more than 50 runs in each innings, getting out under 25 runs, etc. are expected to open on Saturday.

The man closely watching Tendulkar’s performance like a hawk is Sobhan Mehta, the king of bookies. He is a die-hard Tendulkar fan and had even attempted to gatecrash Sachin’s wedding with Anjali in 1995. Joint commissioner of police (crime) Himanshu Roy said he has instructed his officers to keep a close watch on betting activities. However, that has not deterred the bookies, many of whom are affiliated to gangs led by Dawood Ibrahim and Chhota Rajan.

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(S Balakrishnan is a veteran journalist and City Editor of DNA, where the article was first published)