BENGALURU: The Central Crime Branch (CCB) is expected to question more players from Bellary Tuskers, Bengaluru Blasters and Hubli Tigers in connection with the ongoing investigation into the Karnataka Premier League (KPL) match-fixing scandal.
The CCB is interrogating cricketers C.M. Gautam and Abrar Kazi, who were arrested on Thursday for their alleged role in spot-fixing in the recently concluded Karnataka Premier League (KPL).
The duo were produced before a local court on Friday which granted their seven-day CCB custody till November 13.
DCP (CCB) Kuldeep Kumar R. Jain told this newspaper that they suspect the involvement of more players as they believe that one of the cricketers influenced others to accept money from bookies for spot-fixing the matches.
Gautam and Kazi were reportedly involved in spot-fixing during the KPL final this year between Hubli Tigers and Bellary Tuskers, which Hubli Tigers won by eight runs.
While Gautam was allegedly paid Rs 20 lakh for batting slow, Kazi was given Rs 5 lakh for ceding more runs. The two were also reportedly involved in fixing another match against Bengaluru Blasters, Joint Commissioner (Crime) Sandeep Patil had said after their arrest.
It was the arrest of Bengaluru Blasters player Nishant Singh Shekhawat on Tuesday that led the police to Gautam and Kazi. Shekhawat’s name cropped up while the police interrogated Bengaluru Blasters bowling coach Vinu Prasad and opening batsman M. Vishwanathan, who were arrested on October 25.
Former Karnataka Ranji wicketkeeper-batsman Gautam who captained Bellary Tuskers also represented Royal Challengers Bangalore, Mumbai Indians and Delhi Daredevils in the IPL. Kazi has represented Karnataka in Ranji.
Meanwhile, KSCA suspended Gautam and Kazi from all activities in the state and barred them from using its facilities at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium. It also suspended Prasad, Vishwanathan and Shekhawat.
On October 2, CCB sleuths arrested Bhavesh Bafna, one of the two bookies against whom an FIR was registered, for his role in match-fixing, while another bookie, Sanyam, is absconding. The two bookies allegedly also approached Ballari Tuskers team to give “more than ten runs per over, but the bowlers refused”.
The first arrest in the case was that of Belagavi Panthers franchise owner Ashfaq Ali Thar after his role in betting was established. He had allegedly placed bets with a bookie based in Dubai and was in touch with players of other teams during the league.