Betting Disputes in Cricket

Betting Disputes 2

UNEASY RYDER

Every two years in the Ryder Cup golf punters get caught out in the singles matches on the final Sunday. Once either the USA or Europe have reached the 14.5 points they require to win the match the rest of the action becomes meaningless and there have been several early concessions from players who were behind with a couple of holes to play, or generously conceded putts on which thousands of pounds could rest, to ensure a match was halved.

The President's Cup between the USA and an International side is gaining in popularity all the time, but did little to endear itself to the betting public in 2003 when the contest in South Africa produced the one result that the rules said couldn't happen - a tie.

The match went into a play-off between Tiger Woods and Ernie Els, who were still level after three holes. With darkness falling, captains Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player agreed on a draw in the interests of fair play, causing untold havoc among Britain's layers.

Many simply voided all bets, while others settled under dead-heat rules (whereby punters are paid out at the odds they took but for only half their original stake) - bad news for in-running punters taking long odds-on.

CRICKET CONFUSION

In the 1999 cricket World Cup the different settling terms for the semi-final between South Africa and Australia infuriated punters. Both sides were all out for 213 in a dramatic encounter at Edgbaston and, between them, bookmakers came up with four different ways of treating bets.

Most voided, but because Australia qualified for the final due to their finishing ahead of South Africa in the Super Six stage, there was confusion among others.

Bet Direct made the noble gesture of paying out on Australia, while voiding bets on South Africa, Ladbrokes settled bets on Australia on a dead-heat basis but voided on South Africa, while Hills made the most controversial ruling of all by deciding to pay out on Australia and treating bets on South Africa as losers.

Something similar had happened three years earlier in another World Cup semi-final in Calcutta that many spread punters are sure to remember.

Sri Lanka were on the verge of victory, having scored 251 and reduced India to 120-8, when Indian fans started to riot. With fires raging in the stands and Indian fans lobbing bottles on to the pitch, referee Clive Lloyd was left with no choice but to order the players off the field, but he declared Sri Lanka the winners.

That was how fixed-odds bets were settled, but the spread firms voided all trades, meaning buyers of Sri Lanka supremacy, who looked like picking up in excess of 100 points' profit, were left empty-handed. Sellers, of course, got out of jail.

This caused almighty uproar with punters, but at least the spread firms were consistent and they were covered by a rule which stated that all bets would be void if a team did not complete 90 per cent of their overs (India had faced 34.1 of 50).


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