How Sreesanth, Chandila, Chavan and bookies spot-fixed in IPL 6

New Delhi: Video evidence presented in a public
forum by the Delhi Police on Thursday has
revealed that illegal activities are still rife in the IPL
and threatens to throw the future of the lucrative
Twenty20 league into crisis. In a startling and first-
of-its-kind press conference, Delhi Police Commissioner Neeraj Kumar and DCP, Special Cell
Sanjeev Yadav revealed how the authorities had
tracked and uncovered a ring of illegal activity
between bookies and three members of the
Rajasthan Royals IPL franchise, chiefly India fast
bowler Sreesanth who was arrested in Mumbai along with the lesser-known Ajit Chandila and
Ankeet Chavan today. Eleven bookies and their
assistants were also arrested, said the police. Based on a tip-off from one of their sources that
major illegal activity was taking place in the IPL and
generated out of the Mumbai underworld, the
Delhi police tracked the movements of certain
bookies for over a month and on Thursday said it
had “hundreds of hours” of damning evidence. “The investigation started after we got information
that [the] Mumbai underworld was indulging in
match and spot fixing,” said Commissioner Kumar.
“Special cell teams were present in all the matches
but we cannot say with certainty that more players
or teams are not involved in match or spot-fixing. Sreesanth was arrested from Carter Road, Mumbai.
One of the bookies, Jiju Janardhanan, is a very
close friend of Sreesanth. More arrests will take
place.” As revealed by the police with telephonic and
video evidence from live matches, the modus was
that in particular the concerned cricketer was to
guarantee that he would bowl a minimum number
of runs in a specific over. Through a series of non-
verbal cues in the form of on-field movements, such as stretching, moving of jewellery and a wrist
watch or the tucking of a towel into the trousers,
the cricketers would signal to the bookies that this
was the over in which they would follow the
agreed plan. The three matches on which the police focused all
involved Rajasthan: against Kings XI Punjab in
Mohali on May 9, against Pune Warriors in Jaipur
on May and against Mumbai Indians in Mumbai on
May 15. Per the evidence, in the match between Rajasthan
and Pune Warriors at Jaipur on May 5, the
offspinner Chandila had agreed to give away 14
runs off his bowling in one over but forgot to give
the signal to the bookies. In the concerned over,
Chandila began with a wide down the leg side and then, with fine leg up in the circle, drifted the
second ball way down the Robin Uthappa’s pads
and was swept away. The third ball was on the
stumps but short in length and Uthappa cut it away
to the point boundary. A dot and a single followed
and the last ball was full on Aaron Finch’s pads. Again, with fine leg up, that was easy fodder for
the batsman to sweep a boundary. According to DCP Yadav, there had been a
conversation between Chandila and a bookie by
the name of Amit. “He [Chandila] was told to bowl
the first over with lot of confidence and with the
same confidence bowl for us in the next over. The
player agreed to it. The bookie asked: ‘What indication would you give?] and Chandila said ‘I
will lift my T-shirt before the over starts. After that I
will look up and then start bowling.’ Ajit forgot to
give this indication,” said Yadav. As arranged, Chandila had conceded 14 runs. But
according to the police, the fact that Chandila had
not signaled that this was the over to bet on left
the bookies incensed and a heated argument
ensued between both parties after the match. According to the police, in the match between
Rajasthan and Punjab, Sreesanth had taken Rs 40
lakhs to give at least 13 runs in one over. In video
footage of the match shown on a big screen to the
media, the Delhi Police highlighted both of
Sreesanth’s overs in that May 9 match in which they identified an alleged pattern of spot-fixing. “It was decided that Sreesanth would put a towel
in his trouser before bowling the second over of
his spell and also give enough time to bookies to
indulge in heavy betting. As decided, Sreesanth
bowled the first over without wearing the towel. In
the second over he put the towel in his trousers and in order to give enough time to his bookies he
did some warming-up, some stretching exercises
and then went on to give 13 runs,” said
Commissioner Kumar to the media. On the day, Sreesanth had bowled his first over
without towel and conceded five off it. Ahead of
his second over, Sreesanth had placed a towel on
the right side of his body and tucked it into his
trousers, followed by a brief warm-up that
allegedly gave the bookies time to place big bets. In that over, he conceded 13 runs – precisely what
he had been pre-arranged, as stated by
Commissioner Kumar. He added, however: “We
don’t have any evidence that proves Sreesanth
convinced Chandila and Chavan to take part in
spot-fixing.” In Chavan’s case, the Delhi Police singled out
Rajasthan’s match in Mumbai on May 15 and said
the left-arm spinner had allegedly taken Rs 60
lakhs to concede at least 13 runs in his second
over. After a tidy first over in which he gave just
two singles, Chavan gave 15 in the next. A breakdown of that over reads: six, two, six, dot,
one and dot. According to Commissioner Kumar,
the advance money for this spot-fix was taken by
Chandila who did not play that match; this leads
the police to believe that Chandila also acted as a
middle man. Commissioner Kumar also said that no
international players are involved in IPL spot-
fixing and that the only franchise whose players
were engaged in illegal activities was Rajasthan
Royals. According to the authorities, the
mastermind of this spot-fixing was based overseas but that there was no concrete evidence on the
basis of which the police could name any
underworld members.


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