A bogus version of Indian Premier League cricket – set up for crooks in Russia – has been busted after police arrested the gang behind it.

The elaborate hoax saw the crooks rent a farmer’s field in Gujarat and set up cameras to film the fake games.

According to reports, local workers and unemployed people were hired to pose as players and created fake team names, with the players wearing official IPL kits.

The games were then broadcast live on YouTube for unsuspecting betting operations in Russia.

The Times of India reported that a local man who could do a good impersonation of commentator Harsha Bhogle was brought in to add authenticity to the footage.

“Crowd noise sound effects downloaded from the internet made the atmosphere feel authentic,” the newspaper reported.

Achal Tyagi, the top police official in Mehsana district, said four men were arrested in connection with the prank.

“They had umpires with walkie-talkie sets to officiate as they did in IPL and international cricket matches,” he said.

“The setup was good enough to make unsuspecting people think it was a real cricket league.”

Tyagi said referees told players to score or go out based on instructions given to them on walkie-talkies received from the organizers, who in turn received instructions from an accomplice in Russia on the Telegram app.

Betting on cricket is illegal in India, and the four people arrested have been charged with criminal conspiracy and gambling.

The IPL, the world’s richest T20 league, was embroiled in its own illegal betting scandal in 2013 which resulted in two-year suspensions for its Chennai and Rajasthan franchises.

Media rights for the 10-team league for the next five years netted the host Indian Cricket Board £5.2billion last month.

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