Conceding the exact number of runs fixed by a bookie may be difficult for a bowler, says a former international cricketer.

“But it will be easy if you say… you have to give away above 10 runs or above five runs, whatever number it is,” said the South Indian fast bowler. “It is easy because you can manipulate with the field you are keeping and bowl against your field.”

It is all about working against the field that is set.

“If you have kept your field for a short ball, or a drive or outside the off stump, you can give a ball that will be on the leg stump…,” he said.

“You can manipulate with the field and give the batsmen that advantage of not placing the field in the right position. You know that there are more chances of batsmen hitting the boundary or a six, like that you can decide how much runs you can give. An experienced player can always manipulate those things.”

But bowling to a fixed target is very difficult.

“If you give me a particular target, say 10 runs or 12 runs, it is difficult,” he said. “I don’t think those guys (the bookies) will give something like that…exactly 14 runs or so. In that case, you will have to fix the batsmen as well.”

Former Kerala Ranji coach P. Balachandran also said it was very difficult to fix an exact target for a bowler.

“I cannot just understand how it is possible, in that case the batsmen will also have to co-operate,” he said.

Balachandran, a former Ranji player, also said the IPL is just an entertainment business where players can easily fall on the wrong side.

“You should not think of the IPL as straightforward cricket, it is just an entertainment business in which there is a lot of possibility for unethical acts,” he said. “And you will have to accept the format with all the handicaps of that particular concept.”

Being a young event, it will take time to settle down.

“If you want to make it more foolproof, you can only improve on it year after year. Four or five years is not very long in the life of a tournament. And the IPL was started just to counter the ICL… it was brought in, in a haphazard manner. It will have to settle down.”

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