IPL Talent Hunt scam linked to bookies

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S Sreesanth and two others were arrested for spot-fixing in the 2013 IPL

What's the story?

The IPL Talent Hunt scam, under investigation by the Mumbai Police, has been found to involve a bookie.

The Mumbai Police Crime Branch has revealed that the main accused in the case, Vijay Barhate, who is a former talent hunt partner for the IPL team Sunrisers Hyderabad, was posing as a current talent hunter to a group of at least 30 aspiring cricketers from Mumbai by promising them a place in the IPL as well as the Ranji Trophy.

In case you didn't know..

Two others who were arrested by the Mumbai Police alongside Barhate in the Talent Hunt scam were Jeevan Mukadam and Dinesh More. Barhate is believed to have been in regular contact with Priyank Saxena, a notorious bookie who has earlier offered to fix international cricket matches.

The group of three operated by first taking aspiring cricketers to a training camp and then asking them to play a trial match. If chosen, they would then be told to pay an amount ranging from ? 5-7 lakh in order to book a spot in an IPL team.

There has been a previous case of spot-fixing in the IPL, when during its sixth edition in 2013, three Indian cricketers, S Sreesanth, Ankeet Chavan and Ajit Chandila of Rajasthan Royals, had been involved in fixing certain portions of a match. All three were handed life bans by the BCCI, though the Kerala High Court later lifted the ban on Sreesanth, only to impose it again after the BCCI challenged its earlier decision.

The heart of the matter

A total of more than ?68 lakh had been allegedly siphoned by the trio from several budding cricketers from Mumbai.

Saxena, with whom Barhate was in touch, had attempted to fix matches in the ongoing Ashes series in Australia as well, along with his partner in crime Sobers Joban, but was then exposed by The Sun.

What's next?

The twelfth edition of the IPL is slated to start on 5th April, 2018 and run until 21st May, 2018. Before that, the auctions have been finalised to be held in Bangalore on January 27th and 28th.

The Chennai Super Kings and the Rajasthan Royals, suspended after the 2013 IPL spot-fixing, have returned to the fold, although the latter will now be known as just the 'Royals' after an ownership change.

Read more: RR, CSK return to IPL - with drastic changes

Author's Take

It is unfortunate to hear of cases where bookies lure young cricketers into a trap by either offering them a place in a team or a handsome payment for fixing matches. All this does is spoil an aspiring and talented cricketer's future, lost to involvement in illegal and unlawful activities.

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Edited by Anuradha Santhanam