Bengaluru: In a major breakthrough, sleuths of the Central Crime Branch (CCB) have arrested cricketers C.M. Gautam and Abrar Kazi in connection with the KPL match-fixing scandal.
Gautam captained the Bellary Tuskers team in the KPL tourney and has also represented Royal Challengers Bangalore, Mumbai Indians and Delhi Daredevils in the IPL tourney. Abrar Kazi has represented Karnataka in Ranji matches and is now with the Mizoram team.
Kazi was playing for Bellary Tuskers under Goutam’s captaincy in the KPL tourney 2019.
Both the players were reportedly involved in spot fixing during the KPL final 2019 between Hubli Tigers and Bellary Tuskers, which Hubli Tigers won by 8 runs.
While Goutam was allegedly paid Rs 20 lakh for slow batting, Kazi was paid Rs 5 lakh for giving more runs to the other team. The accused were also reportedly involved in fixing another match against Bengaluru Blasters team, explained Joint Commissioner (Crime) Sandeep Patil.
Captain Gautam had reportedly agreed to bat slowly as long as he was at the crease, while Abrar Kazi had agreed to bowl and give away more than 10 runs a over in the finals. Goutam and Abrar Kazi have been arrested based on clinching evidences obtained against them by the CCB police. Both of them will be produced before the court and taken into police custody. Further investigation is on and more arrests will be made in this connection, Sandeep Patil said.
Goutam, was supposed to represent the Goa cricket team in Syed Mushtaq Ali T-20 tournament scheduled to begin from Friday. He had been withdrawn from the team after the arrest.
The major breakthrough was possible after the arrest of Nishanth Singh Shekawat. Shekhwat from Rajasthan had played in the KPL tourney from the beginning. He had represented the Hubli, Mangaluru and Shivamogga KPL teams. It is said that Shekawat was in constant touch with match fixers Sayyam, Jattin and Chandigarh based bookie Manoj Kumar.
‘Pressure on cops in match-fixing case’
City police Commissioner Bhaskar Rao revealed that investigating cops are facing a lot of pressure in connection with the KPL match-fixing scam. “There is pressure on the police to let cricketers off the hook from investigations,” Rao stated.
“We don’t care and will continue the investigation. Some are worried about the future of a few players and do not want them to be arrested. We will do everything to contain and uproot match-fixing,” he explained.
Giving clear hints that many more arrests would follow, Rao said there is a possibility of the involvement of many more cricketers, bookies and brokers.
Cricket fans spend a lot of time and money to watch the game of cricket, he said, adding that cricketers should not dampen the spirit of the game by indulging in match-fixing.