New Delhi: The controversial SMS game introduced in the Indian Premier League (IPL), which triggered strong criticism that it promoted gambling, was discontinued on Tuesday with organizers taking note of reservations expressed by sports minister M.S. Gill and many former cricketers.
The organizers decided to stop the game with immediate effect.
No guesswork: Action from an IPL Twenty20 match between Royal Challengers Bangalore and Kolkata Knight Riders. Fans could make ball-by-ball predictions to win cash prizes in the SMS game. Alexander Joe / AFP
“There was no formal complaints about the game but the sports minister’s views were taken into account and the organizers have withdrawn the game,” said Rajiv Shukla, a senior Board of Control for Cricket in India official and a member of the IPL executive board.
Gill had last week denounced the SMS game in which fans made ball-by-ball predictions for cash prizes, saying it amounted to gambling.
“This is viewed as ‘openly encouraging gambling and betting’, which official bodies do not resort to, even in countries where betting is legal; all this ‘to make money and enlarge their TV viewership base’,” the minister said in a statement.