The Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA) decided to hold an emergent ad-hoc committee meeting, a day after The Indian Express reported that a player had been approached by a team owner of the T20 Mumbai League to underperform before the semifinals last month. The meeting will be held on Thursday.
The Ranji Trophy player had verbally informed the MCA of the approach but the BCCI’s anti-corruption unit had not been informed of the same.
The second edition of the T20 Mumbai League, which is a BCCI-approved tournament conducted by the MCA, was held from May 14 to May 26. All the matches were played at the Wankhede Stadium and telecast live on Star Sports.
Veteran administrator Ratnakar Shetty said the attempt by a team owner to try and corrupt a player must be investigated by the BCCI’s anti-corruption unit as there could be others who also want to report similar approaches.
“If the player has reported the approach (by the team owner) either orally or in writing, the MCA must immediately write to BCCI’s anti-corruption unit, which is equipped to investigate such matters. This is a serious matter and there may be other cricketers who also may volunteer to speak. It is a question of the credibility of the league run by one of the premier state units of the BCCI,” Shetty, who was the BCCI’s General Manager, told The Indian Express.
On Wednesday the BCCI anti-corruption chief Ajit Singh said that the investigation would begin once the MCA shares details about the approach as reported by the player. “It (the case) has not been forwarded as of now but I will ask my office to check up with them (MCA). Once it comes, on the basis of what the complaint is, we will inquire since it is already out there (in public domain),” Ajit Singh told PTI.
Shetty said the state units are supposed to put in checks and balances. “BCCI while giving permission to state units to conduct leagues also expects them to follow some protocols, including making the team ownership public on the website,” Shetty added. “I hope the MCA has conducted anti-corruption education for the players before the start of the season.”
Of the eight teams that participated this time, North Mumbai Panthers, Arcs Andheri, Sobo Supersonics and Aakash Tigers MWS made it to the semifinals. Last year players of another state-unit run T20 tournament, the Karnataka Premier League, had been approached and they reported the same to officials.