A group of Indian conmen have been arrested after setting up a fake version of cricket’s Indian Premier League, per the Telegraph.
The hustlers received thousands of pounds from Russian gamblers, who were conned into thinking they were watching the real thing.
The Indian Premier League finished three weeks prior to the fake one, called Century Hitters T20, starting.
The group hired a remote farm in Molipur village of Gujarat’s Mehsana district.
They then hired labourers and unemployed youths 400 rupees (£4.20) per match and told them to play cricket.
There were six teams, including Chennai Super Kings, Mumbai Indians and Gujarat Titans, with players taking turns to wear their jerseys.
The contests were broadcast live over a YouTube channel called “IPL”.
Umpires would use walkie-talkies to communicate with the organisers, who would connect with the punters through Telegram. The umpires would give instructions to the players and tell them whether to score runs or get out.
No wide shots were ever broadcast, while they even used a commentator who mimicked Harsha Bhogle, one of IPL’s real commentators.
Footage of the fake IPL has emerged and it’s hilarious. Watch it below…
Here it is, the moment you’ve all been waiting for….— Jordan Elgott (@JElgott) July 11, 2022
Footage of the Fake IPL, which somehow conned people in Russia into betting on it.
‘Chennai Fighters’ off to a solid start, pitch looking in good condition. pic.twitter.com/XtaL5W5zli
How can anyone even fall for that?!
But, despite not looking anything like the real thing, the group managed to convince Russian gamblers to part with thousands of pounds.
Nine games were played and the competition got to the quarter-final stage before being found out.
Four people have been arrested and charged with criminal conspiracy and gambling.
Bhavesh Rathod, the officer investigating the case, said, per the BBC: “I have never seen a scam like this. These guys just cleared a patch of land deep inside a village and began playing a match and beaming it on YouTube to make money through gambling. Even the local villagers were not aware of this. We know very little about the Russians who were putting bets on this game.”
What a crazy story.