In the first of its kind case in India since the emergence of computer analysis of cricketers as a key coaching tool, cyber crime police in Bangalore are investigating a top performance analyst with the South African national cricket team for alleged theft of proprietary coaching software belonging to a company run by a former India and Karnataka cricketer.
Investigators from the cyber crime unit of the Karnataka police’s Criminal Investigation Department have over the past two days questioned Prasanna Raman Agoram, the performance analyst of the South African cricket team, for alleged violation of intellectual property rights in the creation of a new performance analysis software called Mr Cricket by him for his team.
The police are questioning Agoram, an established sports performance analyst, on the basis of a complaint lodged with the cyber crime police station by former Indian cricketer Vijay Bharadwaj. He has accused Agoram of stealing the source code of performance analysis proprietary software belonging to his company Sporting Mindz Technologies.
The cyber crime police have seized Agoram’s official laptop, which contains the Mr Cricket software, for analysis and comparison of the source code with the proprietary software of the company run by Bharadwaj.
Agoram has denied the charges brought against him by his “former employers”. “I have been in this business since 2002, there has not been any accusation until now. The truth will be known in a week’s time when the investigations are over. I do not want to bad-mouth my former employers who have filed the case,” said Agoram, who has previously worked with the Indian hockey team, the Indian under-19 cricket team and IPL teams Royal Challengers Bangalore and Delhi Daredevils.
Sources associated with the CID’s cyber crime unit said investigation was underway. “It has been alleged that Agoram stole the source code of software sent to him for verification by Bharadwaj’s company. Evidence is being analysed. It is too early to comment,” a source said.
“It seems that they were partners and there was a fallout. A complaint of violation of Intellectual Property Rights has been received and is being investigated,” a senior CID official said.
The sources said they were looking at material evidence that is likely to emerge in the next couple of days. The Mr Cricket software code was allegedly created as recently as October 6 by Agoram. Police are looking at the date of the source code for specific aspects like video encoding and player capture, which is alleged to have been copied from software belonging to Bharadwaj’s company.
Bharadwaj, who played three tests and 10 one-day internationals for India, is currently a BCCI qualified Level 3 coach in Karnataka and is the executive director of Sporting Mindz Technologies, a provider of sports analytics software.