The Central Bureau of Investigation’s (CBI) 2000 report on match-fixing and Ed Hawkins’ 2012 book, Bookie Gambler Fixer Spy, offer between them an overview of cricketers, the betting system and how things have changed:

1. The motive continues to be money, even though cricketers earn far more than they did in the 1990s and 2000s. The CBI report speaks of players agreeing to “share information" in return for money for mobile phones and, in one case, a Maruti Gypsy.

2. The report also shows that the risk-return equation is skewed in favour of the cricketer. Thus, in one instance, Hansie Cronje tells an Indian bookie that while he accepted money to lose to India, his team couldn’t because the Indians played very badly.

3. Cricketers of all hues appear to be completely naïve. Since naivete isn’t a legal defence, it is possible that most of them were simply venal.

4. Ed Hawkins says in his book that the Indian betting system is very orderly.

The notion that one can approach an Indian bookmaker and ask to place a wager on a weird or wonderful event occurring during a match is farcical, according to Vinay. It is systematic and methodical, making a mockery of reports one might have read about the number of markets available. I asked whether any specific bets might be available: such as the outcome of the toss at the beginning of a match, the end from which the fielding captain elects to bowl, a set number of wides, players being placed in unfamiliar fielding positions, individual batsmen scoring fewer runs than their opposite numbers who batted first, batsmen being out at a specific point in their innings or the timing of a declaration.

“None of these," Vinay says.

Vinay is a bookie.

Since the Delhi Police’s latest operation shows bookies and players indulging in spot-fixing, one can only assume that the system has become even more complex with more options for betting now available.

5. The big difference between the CBI’s match-fixing investigation and the current spot-fixing scandal seems to be that, while fringe players were involved in the former, most of the key participants or alleged participants were captains or former captains. That’s probably because no individual player can fix a match, and even a captain can only try. In contrast, the three players caught in the web this time are all fringe players.

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