BENGALURU: In what could be a major development in the ongoing investigation into the Karnataka Premier League (KPL) by the Central Crime Branch (CCB), the city police commissioner Bhaskar Rao on Wednesday said that bookies, honey-trapped players and blackmailed them into fixing matches.
Speaking to reporters, Mr. Rao said that a few players and team owners had made Indian Premier League (IPL) and Karnataka Premier League (KPL) a big business to make huge money out of it.
Mr. Rao said that the Investigation revealed that bookies were sending players on foreign tours and booking them into five-star hotels where they lay a honey trap for them and later blackmail them to fix matches. "Since the start of IPL, KPL and other domestic leagues, betting and match-fixing has become rampant. The players and team owners making more money this way than by winning trophies," Mr. Rao said.
The police commissioner also took a dig at the cricket regulatory bodies including The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and Karnataka State Cricket Association (KSCA) for being "mute spectators while everything happened under their nose."
While notices have been issued to KSCA and the management of 11 cricket teams seeking answers to questions that the investigation has thrown up, Mr. Rao said that a Special Investigation Team (SIT) within CCB has been formed to go deep into the KPL match-fixing scandal.
The police commissioner stressed on the fact that there were more people watching cricket than those playing it on the field. People spend their hard-earned money to watch cricket matches without knowing that the result of the match is already decided by the bookies. “It's all about playing with the emotions of the public who take out their time and spend money to watch cricket. However, little do they know that the match they were about to watch is already fixed and the result is already decided.
The betting and match-fixing has risen rampantly in IPL and KPL," he said. The CCB probing the KPL match-fixing scandal has arrested seven people so far, including Belagavi Panthers owner Ashfaq Ali Thar, celebrity drummer Bhavesh Bafna, Bengaluru Blasters player Nishant Singh Shekhawat, bowling coach Vinu Prasad and opening batsman M. Vishwanathan, Bellary Tuskers captain C.M. Gautam, Abrar Kazi and international bookie Sayyam Gulati.
The police suspect the involvement of more players in the scandal. Mr. Rao has sought scoresheets of the KPL matches, details of team managers and their conversation with players from opponent teams....