A GROUP of conmen have been arrested after setting up a hilariously bad fake IPL – swindling gamblers out of thousands of pounds.
The crooks hired a field in Gujarat, in western India, and paid labourers £4 per “match” for the completely staged tournament.
Unwitting gamblers based in Russia parted with around £3,400 before cops caught on to the outrageous scam.
The conmen hired a bogus umpire and even a commentator mimicking legendary Harsha Boghle to give it a feeling of authenticity, while also using replica kits of the real teams.
They streamed the matches on a YouTube channel called IPL.
But any genuine cricket fan could tell instantly the match was totally fake – particularly given the elite standard of the legitimate IPL.
Not only was the level of cricket that of your local village side, but the field was worn out and boasted a bigger slope than Lord’s.
The fraudsters played fake crowd noises over their footage and never showed a wide shot of the pitch.
Police inspector Bhavesh Rathod told reporters the “umpire” was given a walkie-talkie and would inform the batsman whether to hit a four, six or get out via a signal.
It’s claimed the fake tournament was held three weeks after the real IPL’s conclusion in May.
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Incredibly, the “Indian Premier Cricket League”, as it was called, managed to reach its QUARTER-FINAL stage before police rumbled it.
Local reports claim Russia-based gamblers placed bets on a Telegram channel set up by the gang and parted with over £3,000 throughout the tournament.
Betting on cricket is illegal in India.
Four people have been arrested for their involvement in the brazen scam.
The suspects have been charged with criminal conspiracy and gambling, according to Reuters.