London, Jun 5 : The England and Wales Cricket Board's (ECB) announcement of a new seven-year deal worth 130 million pounds to broadcast county cricket in Asia has raised the spot fixing ghost once again.
As many as 60 days of county cricket will be screened in India each year as part of the arrangement with ESPN/Star Sports which runs from 2013 to 2019 along with 300 days of international cricket every year.
It is an improvement on the existing 40 million pound five-year deal signed in 2007 and gives ESPN rights until 2019.
Officials admit that county matches shown on TV in India are for spot fixing because of the vast, illegal gambling market in Asia.
The ECB insisted it is a great deal for the game in difficult economic conditions.
But with Asian spot-fixers having already targeted the county game in the Mervyn Westfield case, the ECB also admit they will have to be on their guard.
"We are satisfied with the measures we have in place, having already tightened up our anti-corruption measures, but we will obviously have to continue to be wary," The Daily Star quoted an ECB spokesman, as saying.
ECB chief executive David Collier said: "This new agreement demonstrates the -enormous -appetite for cricket worldwide and the global pulling power of a successful England team and a vibrant county game."
"In a challenging economic climate, with all sports facing tough competition for funding streams, it will also provide an important source of additional revenue for funding the development of our game at all levels," he added. (ANI)