A member of India’s 2011 World Cup-winning squad being probed for possible links to a match-fixing syndicate that organised a domestic T20 tournament in Jaipur last July.
Match-fixing scandals have rocked Indian cricket time and again, often sending it a few years back in time. According to a report by The Indian Express, match-fixing has come back to haunt Indian cricket once again, with a member of India’s 2011 World Cup-winning squad being probed for possible links to a match-fixing syndicate that organised a domestic T20 tournament in Jaipur last July. The tournament, named Rajputana Premier League (RPL), had come under the scanner of BCCI’s Anti-Corruption Security Unit (ACSU) last year after some bizarre events were noticed in it.
For example, a bowler had conceded eight byes by bowling ‘blatant wides’ in the final over of a tight contest. The tournament featured club cricketers and was telecast live on Neo Sports, the former rights-holders of Indian cricket.
This had led to an investigation after which police had arrested 14 persons from four hotels in Jaipur last July for suspected betting and fixing activities linked to the RPL, including organisers, players, umpires and alleged bookies. It had also recovered cash, mobile phones, walkie-talkies and laptops from them.
However, all those who were arrested are now out on bail and the case has been transferred to the CID.
Now, the Rajasthan Police have found that a former international player who represented India in all three formats of the game was the man behind fixing in RPL. The report said that this player was spotted on the sidelines of the tournament.
The Rajasthan police is currently probing links between private entities, those who are part of the cricket fraternity and officials. It said that action will be taken if evidence is found.
Not just RPL, but other domestic and franchise-based leagues have come under the scanner because of match-fixing. In 2013, three players including former team India fast-bowler Sreesanth were accused of spot-fixing in the Indian Premier League.
BCCI has joined hands with police in the investigation against these leagues that resemble TV reality shows with virtually everyone involved – organisers, players and umpires – colluding with bookies who decide which way the matches would swing.