BCCI probe finds four Royals players guilty of spot-fixing

Sep 13 2013, 08:03 IST
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BCCI anti-corruption unit chief has found S Sreesanth, along with Ajit Chandila, Ankit Chavan and Amit Singh, guilty on multiple counts. BCCI anti-corruption unit chief has found S Sreesanth, along with Ajit Chandila, Ankit Chavan and Amit Singh, guilty on multiple counts.
SummaryAnti-corruption unit chief Sawani recommends ban ranging from 5 years to life.

Anti-corruption unit chief Sawani recommends ban ranging from 5 years to life.

The probe by the BCCI’s anti-corruption unit chief Ravi Sawani into the IPL spot-fixing scandal has found cricketers Ajit Chandila, Ankit Chavan, S Sreesanth and Amit Singh guilty on multiple counts and the disgraced Rajasthan Royals players face bans ranging from five years to life.

The BCCI’s disciplinary committee meets in Delhi Friday to discuss Sawani’s report on the scandal that shook India’s Twenty20 league earlier this year. Sawani investigated allegations that Chandila, Chavan and Sreesanth had conceded a pre-determined number of runs per over in exchange for bribes during the IPL this year.

Former IPL and Gujarat player Amit Singh, who last played for the Rajasthan Royals in 2012 and was also arrested with the three others, was alleged to have discussed fixing IPL games with Chandila.

Sawani, who is learnt to have informed the players of his verdict three days ago, has in the report recommended that they be banned for a minimum period of five years and going up to life.

BCCI sources said the disciplinary committee is likely to hand a life ban to Chandila and Amit, while Sreesanth and Chavan may be banned for between 10 and 15 years.

The Sawani report also pulls up Royals player Siddharth Trivedi for violations that could earn him a period of ineligibility, likely between one and five years. Royals left-arm spinner Harmeet Singh, who was a part of India’s under-19 World Cup-winning squad in 2012, is expected to get a similar ban for failing to report that he was approached by bookies.

“The disciplinary committee may consider my report and impose such sanctions as considered appropriate to send out a strong signal indicating the zero tolerance policy of the BCCI to any corruption in the sport that is so dear to the million of Indians and fans abroad,” Sawani urges

in the report, a copy of which has been accessed by The Indian Express.

Sawani had prepared an interim inquiry report based on evidence submitted by the Delhi Police in early June. Subsequently, the players were questioned and given a chance to clarify their positions. “I am of the opinion that there is sufficient evidence available even at this stage to go ahead with the disciplinary proceedings against the four suspended players,” Sawani had said in June.

The final report adopts a tough tone and says that none of the players were naive to the propositions of manipulation.

“There is no specific mitigating factors that would require any mercy while sanctioning the aforesaid guilty players. Sreesanth has played a number of international games and was part of the Indian national team which won the inaugural T20 World Cup, 2007 and ICC Cricket World Cup in 2011. He has received the ICC ACSU education programme on many occasions. In any case all the three players of Rajasthan Royals who are now being accused and found guilty by the under-signed received the ICC Education Programme just prior to the beginning of the IPL-6 season i.e. on April 5, 2013. The programme was delivered to the entire Rajasthan Royals team by Mr Arrie De Bear, regional security manager of the ICC ACSU,” Sawani has said.

The pre-IPL programme educates all players about corruption in cricket, methods adopted by fixers in luring cricket players, types of bets that are placed in the illegal betting market in the subcontinent and elsewhere, crimes as per the code, the protocols and discipline required to be maintained during IPL tournaments and finally, what to do if approached by fixers or other undesirable elements.

“Obviously, the anti-corruption education given to the three players had no impact on the conduct. Therefore, the three players deserve no leniency whatsoever,” Sawani has said.

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