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IPL withdraws SMS contest following criticism
NEW DELHI: The Indian Premier League (IPL) has withdrawn with immediate effect its controversial text-messaging contest following strong criticisms from sports minister MS Gill and other former cricketers including Dilip Vengsarkar.

As part of the contest, the SMS competition allowed users to make ball by ball predictions wherein participants guessed the outcome of each ball for cash prizes. According to Gill, the process stood similar to gambling.

The sports minister had earlier argued that the game encouraged betting.

"I see the commercial use of cricket for business gains that is going on. I am concerned at knowledgeable comments from serious followers of cricket about the latest venture of encouraging viewers to make ball by ball predictions of runs scored for economic gain in the shape of cash prizes," Gill had said in a statement.

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