The darker side of IPL resurfaced today after three people including an insider with pitch access were arrested for allegedly running a betting racket in yesterday’s match between Delhi Daredevils and Gujarat Lions. They have been identified as Nayan Shah, a native of Maharashtra, Vikas Kumar from Pukhrayan adjoining Kanpur Dehat district and Ramesh Kumar, who worked as a sub-contractor (IPL), Senior Superintendent of Police, Kanpur, Akash Kulhari said. Shah and Vikas were arrested from a room on the 17th floor of the city’s only five-star hotel ‘Landmark’, which is also where both teams were staying. The third accused Ramesh was arrested from the Green Park stadium, the SSP said. It has been learnt from the BCCI sources that Ramesh, who was a part of the logistics team had “promised” the bookie Shah that he has contacts among groundsmen, who can pour more water on the 22-yard surface to tinker with the playing conditions.
“Although Ramesh had nothing to do with pitch preparation activity, he had bragged to the bookie that his access to Green Park groundsmen will help him tamper with the pitch. Additional water would make the pitch damp and it would be a low-scoring affair,” a BCCI source told PTI. However, Gujarat Lions scored 196 and Daredevils chased the target off the last delivery in a high-scoring affair. After it turned out to be high-scoring match, Ramesh told bookie Shah that despite his arrangements, the scoring pattern wasn’t affected. “The Anti-Corruption Unit of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has been tracking activities of certain individuals, as a result of which, three suspects were arrested in Kanpur, on Thursday,” read the official statement from the BCCI.
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“Following this operation, the Uttar Pradesh Police Crime Branch could successfully foil the alleged betting attempts of the accused. This was an outcome of the ACU of the BCCI, having worked closely with various law enforcement agencies, who will continue further investigations, in this matter,” the BCCI said. According to the Kanpur police, Kumar stayed in accommodations at the stadium and sent pitch reports to his two associates at the hotel., Based on the inputs about the pitch, Shah and Vikas took bets, he said, adding that closeup pictures of the pitch were found from a mobile phone seized from Kumar.
Superintendent of Police (City) Gaurav Grover said Rs 4.90 lakh, four mobile phones and a laptop were recovered from the three men. The trio is being interrogated for other details, the SP said, adding the police were also trying to find out how they got rooms in the hotel where the cricketers were staying. Police were also questioning the staffers of the Landmark Hotel in this regard.
In 2013, India international S Sreesanth along with domestic cricketers Ankit Chavan and Ajit Chandila were arrested on charges of spot-fixing by the Delhi Police. All three were playing for the Rajasthan Royals. The erstwhile BCCI president N Srinivasan’s son-in-law Gurunath Meiyappan –the former Team Principal of Chennai Super Kings was also arrested. Both franchises were banned for two years by the BCCI while Meiyappan and Royals co-owner Raj Kundra were banned for life. The three cricketers were also banned for life.