A member of the world-cup winning Indian team linked to a match-fixing syndicate
What's the story?
The investigations of a match-fixing issue in the Rajputana Premier League have surfaced the possible links of a team member of the 2011 World Cup winning squad. The former player was on the sidelines of the tournament that came under BCCI Anti-Corruption Security Unit's (ACSU) radar for its ludicrous events.
When contacted by The Indian Express, Additional DGP CID (Crime) Pankaj Kumar Singh affirmed that they are trying to get to the core. “We are currently probing links between private entities, those who are part of the cricket fraternity and officials. We will take action if there is evidence that links them to corruption,” he said.
In case you didn't know...
The tournament, Rajputana Premier League (RPL) was held in Rajasthan in the month of July, 2017. It had first come under BCCI’s ACSU last year and is being investigated by Rajasthan Police’s CID.
With a list of club cricketers involved in the league, Neo Sports who were the former right holders of Indian cricket, telecasted the matches.
The heart of the matter
The mastermind behind the 'orgranised cricket racket' had business links with the former player, the sources suggested. Police obtained information regarding the former player when they probed 14 members in about four hotels in Jaipur, for suspected betting and fixing activities linked to the RPL.
The matter came to the forefront when instances like a bowler conceding eight byes by bowling 'blatant wides' in the final over of a tight contest was seen. The Rajasthan Police was then requested by the BCCI to scrutinize the league. In November, when all those arrested were out on bail, the case was passed on to the CID.
“This is a new methodology bookies and fixers have come up with. They host a private T20 tournament, select a venue and arrange to have it telecast. Because if you telecast it, then the bookie community and betting community gets involved and everyone sitting in a drawing room can bet,” Neeraj Kumar, BCCI ACSU’s former chief and current advisor said.
A couple of new dubious domestic T20 leagues resembling RPL consist of a 'spotter' or 'handler' around the venue to ensure the play follows the pre-decided pattern. The 'spotter' conveys instructions from bookies through walkie-talkies used by field umpires, who inform the players.
The Additional DGP CID (Rajasthan), Singh declined to discuss the involvement of the former India cricketer with the reporters.
Sources said investigators are depending on call detail records to get to the core of the issue and is suggestive of the case turning 'high-profile'.
The concealing of the former player's identity is suspicious. It could either mean that the allegations are yet to be proven or despite the involvement, the governing body is protecting the player.
Either way, orchestrating an entire league calls for strong judicial actions against it. Maybe yet another committee from the SC to handle the mishap is in the proximity.