Rajputana Cricket League scrapped following serious fixing allegations
What’s the story?
Rajasthan’s foray back into the BCCI fold has taken a huge hit with reports trickling in that the Rajputana Cricket League, being telecast by Neo Sports, is part of an ugly match-fixing scandal, leaving several big names in the state’s cricketing circles in line for questioning.
The semi-finals and finals of the league, previously scheduled to be held on July 20 and 21, were scrapped.
In case you didn’t know…
The league, assisted by an academy run by a former cricketer, was granted permission by the Rajasthan Cricket Association (RCA) to be played out in the Jaipur District Association Stadium. The tournament consisted of six teams, each based in a town in Rajasthan.
The heart of the matter
The scandal was unearthed after the BCCI filed an FIR, following which the Anti-Corruption Unit, in association with the Jaipur Police, arrested 20 people, including players and bookies.
Two bookies, Bahare Khan and Wazir Khan, who were being closely monitored by the ACU, were arrested. Neeraj Kumar, BCCI’s Anti-Corruption Unit (ACU) chief, told Mumbai Mirror that the two were being closely watched, and the ACU zeroed in on them during the tournament.
The bookies, hailing from Delhi and Punjab, have previously been accused of corrupting tournaments in Rajwada, Nepal and Noida. Cash worth Rs. 37 lakhs, as well as 20 mobile phones, were seized from the two.
Sources close to the scandal have stated that the bookies followed the plan of organising small tournaments, getting them telecast, and then compromising the result with the help of the players and umpires.
The players seemed to be oblivious to the proceedings, refusing to comment on the matter but revealed that they were told to withdraw after receiving a letter from the BCCI. As soon as the arrests were made, a tournament in Jodhpur immediately got cancelled.
The BCCI’s ACU have been on their toes ever since the 2013 IPL spot-fixing scandal broke out, highlighting how the game has been exposed to serious tampering in the country, even at the top-most level. Neeraj Kumar had, in April, mentioned to a leading daily that small T20 leagues are a big concern, because very little can be done to monitor them.
Rajasthan Royals' re-entry in the IPL had given cricket in the state something to look forward to but the recent incidents of malpractice have dented the prospects of clean cricket flourishing again.