IPL has become gambling and business, says Kerala Sports Minister

Thiruvananthapuram: Even as the Kochi IPL consortium is actively lobbying for support from the LDF government in Kerala, the state Sports Minister M Vijayakumar today said the high-profile tourney had virtually become `gambling and business.`

"Cricket as a sport will be encouraged. But we cannot agree with treating the game as a commercial venture," he told PTI here.

Unfortunately, the bidding of teams and auctioning of players had assumed the dimension of `gambling and business`, he said, adding this could not be approved.

Asked what could be the approach of the Left Front government towards the Kochi IPL team, the CPI-M minister in the Achuthanandan cabinet said `as a game, we will be promoting cricket, but not as a business.`

Promoters of the Kochi IPL consortium Rendezvous had yesterday called on Chief Minister V S Achuthanandan seeking government`s support for a home team for the cricket league.

Achuthanandan asked them to give the details of the venture in writing and said the government`s response would be made known after discussions at the government level.