Mumbai: While the cricketing fraternity is still coming to terms with the ball-tampering row involving Steve Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft, another controversy is already on its way as it is now reported that an Indian cricket team member from ICC World Cup 2011-winning squad, is under scrutiny over alleged links with the match-fixing syndicates.
MS Dhoni-led India had beaten Sri Lanka in the final at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai to lift the coveted trophy after 28 years.
While, Arjuna Ranatunga – Sri Lanka’s 1996 World Cup-winning skipper, had demanded an investigation into the India vs Sri Lanka 2011 final, it is learnt that a member of that Indian squad is being probed for his alleged links with the match-fixing syndicate which had organised a T20 tournament - Rajputana Premier League (RPL) – in Jaipur in July 2017.
It is reported that the tournament first came under Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) Anti-Corruption Security Unit’s scanner last year and it is now being investigated by Rajasthan Police’s CID. The tournament, which was telecasted live on Neo Sports, involved club cricketers.
According to a report in The Indian Express, the Indian player, who represented Indian in all three formats of the games, had links with the person, who reportedly runs “organised cricket racket”, and who partially funded the tournament. The report further stated that Rajasthan Police has found that link. The report further says that the Indian cricketer was spotted on the sidelines of the tournament.
The police had arrested 14 people – which had organisers, players, umpires and alleged bookies – in July from the hotel and laptops, mobiles, cash and walkie-talkie were recovered from them. While the case was transferred to CID in November 2017, the 14 arrested are out on the bail. Such leagues reportedly make Rs 2-3 crores a week.
“We are currently probing links between private entities, those who are part of the cricket fraternity and officials. We will take action if there is evidence that links them to corruption,” Pankaj Kumar Singh, Additional DGP CID (Crime), told The Indian Express while saying that the police is following all leads.
While he refused to share details of the possible involvement of an Indian cricketer in the racket, it is reported that the police is banking on call records to unearth what could be a “high profile” case.
Meanwhile, the report also says that spotter or a handler is stationed right outside the ground to ensure the “plan”, as decided before hand, is executed. The spotter reportedly tells players what the bookies want via the walkie-talkies that are used by the on-field umpires.
RPL had witnessed a bizarre turn of events, one including a bowler bowling huge wides in the final over of the match, with the opponent requiring over ten runs to win the match.