Fixing scandal returns to haunt the Indian Cricket as a member of the India women’s cricket team was allegedly approached to fix matches earlier this year, prompting the BCCI’s Anti-Corruption Unit to lodge an FIR against two individuals on Monday, 16 September.
The alleged incident, which the player reported to the Board’s ACU, took place in February, ahead of the limited-overs home series against England.
Ajit Singh Shekhawat, who heads the ACU, confirmed the development to PTI.
“She is an Indian international cricketer so the ICC conducted an inquiry into it. The ICC warned the person who made the approach and informed us and acknowledged that the cricketer has done the right thing by reporting the approach,” Shekhawat said.
The ACU has registered a first-information report (FIR) with the Bengaluru police against two individuals, Rakesh Bafna and Jitendra Kothari, for the alleged approach.
“We followed that inquiry and it was much more than that. If we let that person off with a warning it doesn’t make any difference at all.
“… So we went into his other links and connected the dots and we gave it to the police because we have no jurisdiction over them. We have jurisdiction only over participants. So they are going to investigate it,” Shekhawat added.
The case has been registered under four sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) including Section 420, which pertains to cheating.
The player is said to have also recorded the conversation she had with one of the accused over the telephone.
It is learnt that the player was approached while she was undergoing recovery sessions at the National Cricket Academy (NCA) in Bengaluru, with Kothari, who introduced her to Bafna, claiming to be a sports manager.
Now, The Indian cricket board has launched investigations into suspected match fixers who approached a member of the women’s national team and players in a regional Twenty20 league, its anti-corruption head said on Tuesday.
In another incident, several players in this year’s Tamil Nadu Premier League (TNPL) were approached by suspected fixers.
“We are trying to find out what their purpose was. They tried to contact through social media. The moment these players realised something was wrong, they cut out the approaches and reported to us,” Singh said. “I consider it a success of our education programme that in both cases, the players did the right thing by reporting the approaches.
Indian Premier League (IPL), BCCI’s showpiece Twenty20 competition, was blighted by illegal betting with former India pacer Shanthakumaran Sreesanth handed a ban following a spot-fixing scandal in 2013.
The Chennai and Rajasthan franchises were also subsequently suspended from the IPL for two years after key officials from both teams were found guilty of illegal betting.