Two articles. Right next to each other on page 7 of today’s Times. I hope you lot are grateful; I can no longer link to the Times so I had to type all these quotes out myself. The first article is by Ashling O’Connor and Andy Stephens and is headed “Call for action against novelty sport bets”. The “action” to which it approvingly refers* is that of the government passing more laws to regulate cricket. The article says:
Cricket, with its complex rules and endless permutations makes it an ideal companion of spot-betting. Traditional British bookmakers avoid bets on what might occur during short passages of play and were not affected by the events allegedly manipulated at Lord’s on Friday. However, the more arcane aspects of the game attract huge interest in some parts of the world, especially Asia, where betting is unregulated.
The second article is by Mike Atherton. It is headed “Shift of power base to gambling-obsessed India fuels corruption”, and it says:
The only bookmakers who offer markets on elements of the game open to so-called micro-manipulation are those in India where bookmaking is illegal and designed to avoid tax and service the black market.
1) Why is the Times printing contradictory articles on the same page?
2) Which one is right?
Two comments. Firstly, even I know that Mike Atherton has played a little cricket in his time, has mixed with teams from all the cricketing countries, has made a genuinely successful career as a sports writer after his retirement from cricket, and might be presumed to know something about these matters. In contrast the O’Connor/Stephens article appears to have been churned out from a Play-doh Fun Factory using the Quango Calls for More Regulation extruder template. Secondly, they might be right and Atherton wrong even so.
*Dear Lord, what misery has been inflicted upon the world because no one ever looked good issuing a call for inaction.