Two more domestic cricketers were arrested on Thursday over a fixing scandal that has engulfed the Karnataka Premier League (KPL), taking the total number of individuals detained to six. The captain of Bellary Tuskers CM Gautam, a former wicket-keeper batsman from Karnataka, and his teammate Abrar Qazi were questioned and arrested by the Central Crime Branch, which is investigating the fixing saga in the last two editions of the KPL. "We have arrested two players with regard to KPL fixing," Additional Commissioner of Police Sandeep Patil told PTI, whilst adding that more arrests can be made as the team investigates further.
It has come to light that Gautam and Qazi were involved in fixing this year's KPL final between Hubli Tigers and Bellary. "They were paid Rs 20 lakh for slow batting, and for other things. Also, they fixed another match against Bengaluru team," an investigation officer said.
The arrest comes after the detention of Bengaluru player Nishant Singh Shekhawat last week, which was the fourth arrest since the scandal came to light. Before him, three others, including the owner of the Belagavi side, had been arrested.
While Gautam has played 94 FC and 58 List A games for Karnataka and Goa, Qazi has turned out in 17 FC games and 35 List A matches for Karnataka and now turns out for Mizoram. He has played for Royal Challengers Bangalore in the IPL, while Gautam has been associated with Delhi Capitals and Mumbai Indians.
Both players had been named in their respective state's squads for the upcoming Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy that is to begin from Friday.
On October 26, Bengaluru Blasters bowling coach Vinu Prasad and batter Vishwanathan had been arrested, with the coach allegedly manipulating a game between the Blasters and Belagavi Panthers in 2018.
The entire KPL fixing scandal had come to light after the arrest of Belagavi owner Ali Ashfaq Thara.