In a shocking turn of events, Karnataka Police’s Central Crime Branch made another arrest over fixing matches in the Karnataka Premier League (KPL), this time nabbing Shivamogga Lions franchise player Nishant Shekhawat.
According to reports by The Indian Express, Shekhawat played a mediator between Bengaluru Blasters' bowling coach, Vinu Prasad and bookie Manoj Kumar. Prasad and Bengaluru Blasters batsman M Viswanathan were arrested over fixing charges last month.
29-year-old Nishant Shekhawat and Vinu Prasad were accused of enticing M Viswanathan to fix matches during the 2018 season of KPL. The fix was planned in a match between Bengaluru Blasters and Hubli Tigers, where Viswanathan was told to score less than ten runs in 20 balls. The fix was confirmed by the batsman by pulling up his sleeves and change of bats, as he eventually got out on nine runs off 17 deliveries. Viswanathan was a sum close to $7000 for this.
Blasters won that match by six wickets and two balls remaining after successfully chasing the 118-run target set by Hubli Tigers. Viswanathan threw his wicket by simply handing a caught-and-bowled chance to bowler MB Darshan. Vinay Kumar and Robin Uthappa were two of the big stars playing the match. Viswanathan registered scores of 14 runs off 13 balls and five runs off six balls in the only two other encounters he played against Bellary Tuskers and Namma Shivamogga respectively.
Bhavesh Bafna, a drummer at the grounds of KPL matches, was arrested on October 3rd when he was outed by a Bellary Tuskers bowler whom he tried to unsuccessfully lure to fix matches in the last KPL. Bafna, who played drums at Bengaluru's M Chinnaswamy during Royal Challengers Bangalore's IPL matches, is being constantly monitored by the anti-corruption unit of BCCI.
KPL came into the limelight for all the wrong reasons when Asfak Ali Thara, the Belagavi Panthers owner was arrested on September 24th for alleged betting. The arrest was followed by the suspension of the Belagavi Panthers franchise on October 2nd by the Karnataka State Cricket Association.