A member of India’s 2011 World Cup-winning team is under scrutiny for possible ties to a match-fixing syndicate that organised a domestic T20 tournament in Jaipur last July, The Indian Express has learnt.
According to the report, the T20 tournament Rajputana Premier League (RPL) is under investigation and the former player in question had been spotted on the sidelines of the tournament.
RPL was first scrutinised last year by the Anti-Corruption Security Unit (ACSU) of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and is now being investigated by Rajasthan Police’s CID.
The Indian Express quoting sources claimed the Rajasthan Police have found the mastermind of the “organised cricket racket” who partly bankrolled the RPL and has business links with a former international player who represented India in all three formats of the game.
“The former player had been spotted on the sidelines of the tournament that witnessed bizarre passages of play. For instance, sources said, a bowler conceded eight byes by bowling “blatant wides” in the final over of a tight contest,” the report said.
Following this, the BCCI requested Rajasthan Police to probe the league.
Fourteen persons were arrested for questioning last year for suspected betting and fixing activities linked to the RPL, including organisers, players, umpires and alleged bookies.
Police received information regarding the former player from the suspects.
While all those arrested are out on bail, the case was transferred to the CID last November.
The Additional DGP CID (Crime) Pankaj Kumar Singh said they are following all leads. He told The Indian Express, “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.”
However, he declined to discuss the involvement of the former India cricketer.
Hinting at the possibility of the case being a “high-profile” one, investigators said they’re relying on call detail records to connect the dots, sources said.
The report added that of late BCCI and police have joined hands to probe into at least half-a-dozen ‘dubious’ domestic T20 leagues, with modus operandi similar to the RPL.
It’s believed that organisers of such leagues make between INR20 million to INR30 million in a week.
Earlier, BCCI ACSU’s former chief and current adviser Neeraj Kumar had criticized the Indian board for what he called a ‘cavalier’ and ‘indifferent’ approach towards having an adequately equipped ACSU.
“Not even once can I recall a meeting in which you have chosen to discuss this issue. Not even once have I been asked what the magnitude of the problem is and what needs to be done,” he had written in an email to BCCI CEO Rahul Johri last December.