The ongoing Lanka Premier League (LPL) cricket tournament is facing serious concerns regarding the influence of gambling and network marketing sponsorships on the event. Several teams are displaying logos of gambling and online forex companies, raising ethical and social questions about their impact on players and the sport. Sri Lanka’s Central Bank has warned against virtual currencies and unregulated financial instruments, adding to the apprehensions surrounding these sponsors. Let’s delve deeper into the issue and the measures taken to address it.
The LPL cricket tournament has come under scrutiny due to the involvement of gambling and online forex companies as sponsors. Names like Skyfair news, 1XBAT, 1XBook, Crickex.in, Kheloyar news, BABU88, Satsport, wolf777, and TigerEXCH prominently feature in the tournament, raising concerns about their influence on players and potential ethical issues.
Sri Lanka’s Central Bank has repeatedly cautioned the public against virtual currencies, stating that it has not authorized any entity to operate schemes involving cryptocurrencies. The bank considers virtual currencies as unregulated financial instruments, lacking oversight and safeguards in Sri Lanka.
According to Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC), the sponsors’ involvement in the LPL tournament has been approved by the Anti-Corruption Unit (ACU) of the International Cricket Council (ICC) following a thorough vetting process. However, concerns persist about the potential influence of betting interests on vulnerable individuals.
Former national cricketer, Charith Senanayake, has expressed concerns about the dangers of exposing players to questionable elements such as dodgy investors, match-fixers, and bookies as sponsors. He fears that players may become controlled and contracted by these elements, jeopardizing their futures.
Tournament Director Samantha Dodanwela reassures that sponsors’ logos on player attire were allowed only after receiving approval from the ICC’s Anti-Corruption Unit. He emphasizes that they are closely working with three ICC anti-corruption officers to ensure the tournament’s credibility.
Pakistan’s star cricketer, Babar Azam, made a strong statement by refusing to wear logos of betting companies on his jersey during the LPL tournament. Representing Colombo Strikers, Azam’s stance is due to religious reasons as betting is forbidden in Islam.