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Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Spot-fixing: Police probing other players’ involvement in betting racket

Officers linked to the probe say names of some bowlers of other teams came up during questioning.

Written by Shalini Narayan | New Delhi | Published: May 18, 2013 3:55:10 am

A day after they arrested three bowlers of the Rajasthan Royals,including India pacer S Sreesanth,and 11 others for their alleged involvement in spot-fixing in Indian Premier League matches,Delhi Police officers said they were also probing if players of other IPL teams were involved in the betting racket. Related: As it all sinks in,Sreesanth breaks down in tears,’accepts mistake’

Officers linked to the probe said names of some bowlers of other teams came up during questioning of the arrested cricketers and bookies. The officers clarified that at this stage they had no evidence of the involvement of other players but they would certainly widen the probe.

A bookie who had given police the slip at a New Delhi hotel was detained on Friday. The bookie,identified as Mahender alias Bhupender of Faridabad,had walked past Special Cell officers when they reached the hotel. Related: Cricketer-bookie Amit may have used Jiju to reach Sree

Sreesanth,Ankeet Chavan and Ajit Chandila,who were remanded in police custody for five days after they were arrested in Mumbai and flown to Delhi,have been questioned by Delhi Police Commissioner Neeraj Kumar. A police officer claimed that the trio admitted to making a “mistake” but this was promptly rejected by their lawyers who said the players had been framed and the police had no case.

The police are still to recover Rs 1.2 crore in cash that allegedly changed hands between the bookies and the three bowlers. Police said they would recover the cash very soon.

According to police,Amit Singh,who played for Rajasthan Royals earlier and is one of the 14 to be arrested,told his interrogators that a 2012 IPL season match of the team too had been fixed — a claim that police will look into. Related: Suspect’s action cost him RR spot

Investigations so far show that Chandila appeared to have gained the most from the bookies. An officer claimed it was Amit Singh who first engaged Chandila and took him to shopping malls several times. An expensive white watch which Chandila wears — and which police claim he was told to move as a signal to bookies — had been gifted to him by Singh,the officer said.

“The watch is case property. We have enough proof on the links between Chandila and Singh. In the taped conversations,there is mention of the white watch. Singh paid for the watch at a shopping mall and gifted it to Chandila,” the officer said.

Son of an officer in the armed forces,Singh works as a HR Manager with a bank in Gujarat. Singh is said to have told police that two women from Mumbai were flown to a hotel in Jaipur where Chandila was staying.

Police claimed their investigations showed that the spot-fixing deals between the players and bookies were struck at two hotels in Gurgaon and Jaipur. The police claimed that on April 6,bookie Chandresh Patel — he has been arrested — hosted a party at Country Club,Gurgaon where he allegedly struck a deal with Chandila who wanted Rs 20 lakh for every over in which runs were to be conceded.

According to police,Chandila assured Patel that he would involve other bowlers. He called two of his team mates but they did show up at the party,a police officer claimed.

Another party was hosted in Jaipur on April 8 after the match between Rajasthan Royals and Kolkata Knight Riders. It was at this party that Chandila roped in Chavan and they struck a deal with Patel,the officer claimed. Phone numbers of bookies were exchanged.

The officer claimed that Sreesanth had a conduit in Jiju Janardanan,a fellow cricketer and friend. During questioning,Sreesanth said he was unaware about Jiju’s association with Patel. But Chavan and Chandila,the officer claimed,told police that Sreesanth knew who he was doing it for.

The police also claim to have a tape of a conversation between Chandila and his wife. An officer said Chandila’s wife is heard asking her husband about the source of packets of money reaching the house. He is heard telling her to mind her own business and keep the money safe since it is “mehnat ka paisa (hard earned money)”,the officer said.

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