New Delhi: The net in the Indian Premier League spot-fixing scandal is widening each day. Police sources say the third day interrogation of the three cricketers accused of spot-fixing have revealed clear patterns of the murky deals that shamed Indian cricket.
It now emerges that domestic and first class cricketers were allegedly acting as conduits for the top bookies and the players. After Jiju and Amit Singh, the Delhi Police claimed to have arrested a first class cricketer, Manish, and is on the look out for a former Railways player Baburao Yadav. Police also arrested two more bookies.
But the Delhi Police Commissioner has admitted to lapses in the investigation. “We were in a hurry to arrest the accused in Mumbai and bring them to Delhi, so we were unable to do a lot of the work that we were supposed to,” Delhi Police chief Neeraj Kumar said.
Details also emerged on how S Sreesanth was arrested. Sreesanth’s car was intercepted by the officers of the special cell at Carter Road in Mumbai. He was physically moved to the police vehicle, but the cricketer apparently threw his phone at police and threatened to call top politicians. But when he met other bookies and Jiju, he lost all his confidence.
Cricketer Ajit Chandila is emerging as the key link behind the cricketer-fixer nexus. Sources say he was in talks with as many as four betting syndicates. The police so far have been able to nab only two. They are also examining Chandila’s role in spot-fixing during the last IPL season.
Sources have also indicated that the bookies used the underworld to threaten the players to fall in line. In fact they used the name of the top men of the D company to threaten Chandila when he failed to do as promised. The involvement of the underworld, bookies and more and more players clearly points toward a much more murky plot than what it was early thought to be.
Meanwhile, following the BCCI working council meeting on Sunday, the Rajasthan Royals issued the statement, “We, along with the BCCI and other IPL franchises, take a zero tolerance approach to spot or game fixing. The impact on the game, our team, and our franchise has been devastating. It is critical that this evil is rooted out of the game, and as such we will be filing FIRs with the Delhi police, based on the information provided. This will ensure that justice is pursued to its most complete end, and that the police are able to appropriately conduct their investigation. The reputational impact on the franchise, our players, our stakeholders, and the game has been immense. The actions must be punished.