Ben Hill is a reporter for The New Zealand Herald

Cricket: Patriotic punters backing the Black Caps

Martin Guptill and Colin Munro. Photo / Getty
Martin Guptill and Colin Munro. Photo / Getty

Bookies have weighed in behind the Black Caps, listing Kane Williamson's men as second-favourites to win the T20 World Cup in India.

Victories over India, Australia and Pakistan have locked up a semifinal spot and the TAB is now paying $4.25 for New Zealand to go one better than last year's 50-over efforts. They are set to play Bangladesh in a pool-play clash tonight.

India are given the best chance of winning their home tournament, with each dollar bet on the hosts if they do win netting $3.50.

TAB spokesman Matt Ching said about 60 per cent of bets for outright winner have gone on New Zealand, who opened earlier this month paying $8 to win the tournament.

"We've taken $30,000 on the Black Caps for the outright since it's opened. They're always heavily backed, they're our biggest liability."

Mr Ching said the TAB stands to lose money if the Black Caps take out the World Cup.

"Obviously they're doing well, but you also get just people who are patriotic, they back New Zealand.

"If New Zealand win any tournament we do have quite a large liability, that's pretty standard."

He said TAB staff were often fighting a conflict of head and heart when heavily-backed New Zealand teams were involved in competitions.

"You get people being patriotic, when they made the Cricket World Cup final last year it was very iffy, obviously everyone wants them to win but at the same time we have huge liability so we're not overly keen, it does get a bit like that."

The pitches on the sub-continent have proven to be conducive to effective spin-bowling, and that has seen New Zealand left-armer Mitchell Santner soar from obscurity to be the favourite for top wicket-taker.

"He opened at $21 and he's been backed into $4, he was right down the bottom," Mr Ching said.

"He's got eight wickets at the moment and he's been well backed in."

The largest bet for outright winner was $10,000 on India when they were paying $4, and Mr Ching said the option to pick the finalists has proven popular with punters as a number of $5000 bets have been placed in that category.

The Black Caps will also win big financially with a tournament victory.

New Zealand could pocket more than US$3 million ($4.5 million) if they win the final in Kolkata on April 4.

Each team receives US$300,000 as a participation fee, with a bonus of US$50,000 for winning every group game, which the Black Caps will achieve if they beat Bangladesh today.

Losing semifinalists get US$750,000 each, the runners-up receive US$1.5 million while the winners pocket US$3.5 million.

The money is expected to be shared by the Black Caps players, with some set aside for support staff.

The women's teams competing in their T20 World Cup have substantially less remuneration at their concurrent tournament.

In the 2009 and 2010 tournaments, the women's pot was worth US$45,000; that climbed to US$60,000 for 2012.In 2016 the total pool is US$400,000, up 22 per cent from 2014. The winners receive US$70,000, runners up get US$30,000, losing semifinalists US$15,000 each and a group win is worth US$2500.

- NZ Herald

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