Spot-fixing scandal has hit IPL. This time it is not a sting operation. Delhi police have arrested three Rajasthan Royals players. S. Sreesanth had played for India in Tests, ODIs and T20s. In a Test in South Africa he had hit Andre Nel for a sixer and had danced. He was in the final of T20 World Cup 2007 and had caught Misbah-ul-Haque off Joginder Sharmar when Pakistan needed six runs off four balls and that was the moment of India’s victory. He was in the final of ODI World Cup 2011. Ajit Chandila and Ankeet Chavan were not much known at national level. Delhi police came to Bombay and arrested them on 16/5/2013. They also arrested 11 bookies. Amit Singh, one of the bookies, was a RR player till 2012.
The police claim to have been on the trail of bookies since the beginning of March 2013. They have more than 100 hours of telephone recording. Why did they act now and not early? May be it was to divert attention from the problems UPA is facing. It can be also due to IPL betting leading to kidnapping and murder of a boy Aditya Ranka. Somebody in police force must have felt bad and decided to stop.
These are the first arrests for spot-fixing or match-fixing in India. Previously the players were banned. The players are arrested under Section 120-B of IPC for conspiracy and Section 420 for cheating.
BCCI has been in denial about anything wrong in Indian cricket. It rubbished reports of spot-fixing or match-fixing that appeared in newspapers and TV channels. Spot-fixing can be match-fixing when a team loses by narrow margin.
BCCI claims it is a case of few bad eggs. Ratnakara Shetty said BCCI has zero tolerance for anti-doping and anti-corruption. That was a Freudian slip. It means BCCI is for doping and corruption.
Doping ruined cycling. Lance Armstrong denied charges of doping for a long time. When he admitted it was on an interview to Oprah Winfrey.
Some have suggested making betting legal. Some have funny suggestions of good parenting and counselling. Match-fixing takes place in countries where betting is legal. It is there in football, tennis and other sports. Jail term is the way to deter crime in sports.
IPL 6 had its share of strange things. DD were all out for 80. CSK were all out for 79. Keiron Pollard dropped catches off three successive balls. In RCB vs CSK match the sixth ball of the last over happened to be a no ball and that resulted in defeat for RCB and victory for CSK.
Lalit Modi appeared on CNN-IBN and Headlines Today and lashed out at N. Srinivasan. He said ICC, BCCI and IPL are run by one person. He claimed he did nothing wrong when he was IPL Commissioner. He had warned about bookmakers. He said he had forwarded information about spot-fixing to BCCI’s Sundararaman.
Delhi police said Bombay underworld was running the betting ring. The mastermind is in Dubai. Y. P. Singh said betting happens with the connivance of the police.
Gulu Ezekiel said this is the tip of the iceberg that will sink the Titanic that is Indian cricket. He wants polygraph tests for players, franchisees, and BCCI officials. Sanjay Jha said those who are shocked are either naïve or ignorant. Some years back he had hinted that the IPL final where MI lost to CSK was fixed.
Some say IPL is Indian Paisa League or Indian Punter League.
Some wanted ban on IPL. Navjot Singh Sidhu countered by saying in spite of all the scandals, betrayals and controversies Parliament can still be sacrosanct. Why call IPL Paap League.
Badrish Dutt who was investigating spot-fixing was found dead on 11/5/2013. His live-in partner Geeta Sharma was also found dead. The criminals knew he was to lead raids on them.
BCCI’s disciplinary committee headed by Arun Jaitley is set to meet on 19/5/2013 to decide about action to be taken against the three players who are under suspension. Life ban is a possibility.
Delhi police have gone public about three bowlers and three matches. There is more that needs to be made public. They have been economical about the truth. Betting by Bombay underworld cannot be just about one over each in three matches.