Rajasthan Royals launches internal probe into spot-fixing

Updated: May 17, 2013, 8:54 AM IST
Rajasthan Royals launches internal probe into spot-fixing

New Delhi: 9.20 pm: Rajasthan Royals issued a statement saying its management and team members and other staff were shocked at the spot-fixing incident involving three of its players. The statement added it had launched an internal probe into the incident.

8.01 pm: The Delhi Police said it has no reasons to interrogate cricketer Rahul Dravid or Rajasthan Royals owners Raj Kundra and Shilpa Shetty in connection with the spot-fixing case in which three players were arrested.

7.00 pm: Rajiv Shukla says, "The guilty will get the strongest possible punishment. We have called an emergency Working Committee meeting in Chennai on Sunday. We will discuss the entire issue before deciding the future course of action. We will be taking some important decisions. The strongest possible action will be taken against the guilty."

6.34 pm: Mumbai Police sources say bookie Ramesh Vyas revealed during questioning that during the 2009 IPL edition, "Sunil Abhichandani was in touch with Chandresh through whom he contacted players for spot-fixing. In the 2009 IPL edition, foreign players (non-Indian) players were approached (Australian and Sri Lankan)". During questioning the bookie also admitted to an 'attempt' to spot-fix in the last three editions of IPL as well, the sources said.

6.01 pm: Sources say that Sreesanth has confessed before the Delhi Police investigation team to spot-fixing. Sources, however, add that the Delhi Police is yet to recover the entire money.

5.54 pm: Rajasthan Royals captain Rahul Dravid and the team will be examined in the spot-fixing case, sources said. The sources added that Dravid and the team will help in the probe.

5.20 pm: Joint Commissioner of Police, Mumbai, Himanshu Roy has said that arrests of more cricketers cannot be ruled out. He said, "We arrested bookies from the Kalba Devi area. Their calls were traced to Pakistan and Dubai. It is very unlikely that only three players and one team are involved." Roy also said that the police was investigating "the Dawood angle as well". "Fixing is not limited to one IPL edition. More cricketers may be involved. We are not ruling out arrests of more cricketers," he added.

5.09 pm: Sources now say that previous IPL matches are also under the radar. Not only the matches, but players from other IPL teams are also under scrutiny, the sources said.

4:03 pm: Ankeet Chavan tells the interrogators that bookies had approached two batsmen from Rajasthan Royals. However, whether or not they had agreed to the deal is being investigated right now.

3:40 pm: More shocking details have emerged during the interrogation of the arrested Rajasthan Royals players, S Sreesanth, Ajit Chandila, Ankeet Chavan and Amit Singh. Police sources have now indicated that two more players of the Rajasthan Royals are under the radar. Sources say one of them is an Indian player while the other is an international player. Police sources say they are trying to probe the matter and get solid evidence against the two players.

3:00 pm: The BCCI is likely to initiate criminal proceedings against S Sreesanth, Ajit Chandila, Ankeet Chavan and Amit Singh. Sources say a decision is likely on Sunday at the emergency meeting.

2:08 pm: Delhi Police sources indicate that Ajit Chandila is becoming the tough nut to crack. Sources say he may had the strongest links with bookies and is the man to watch out for.

2:00 pm: The BCCI has suspended cricketer-turned-bookie Amit Singh after his links with the IPL 6 spot-fixing scandal.

1:52 pm: Sources in the Delhi Police say Sreesanth has been kept in a separate cell and an inspector is keeping track of him. Sources say Sreesanth has refused to interact with the other two players. Sources add that the Delhi Police chief spoke to Sreesanth minutes back and Sreesanth said he was not aware of a bigger racket.

1:26 pm: The BCCI has called an emergency meeting of the working committee on Sunday at 11 am in Chennai. The meeting will discuss the spot-fixing allegations and arrest of three Rajasthan Royals players - S Sreesanth, Ajit Chandila and Ankeet Chavan - for allegedly indulging in spot-fixing. The meeting is likely to take a decision on banning the three players for life.

1:13 pm: Even as Ankeet Chavan reportedly admitted to spot-fixing, his family claimed he is innocent. Chavan's brother appealed to people to support him. "He is innocent, think that he is being trapped, I don't think that he can do such a thing. If you twist your wrist-band it does not have to mean anything," Chavan's brother said.

12:36 pm: Sreesanth's brother Dipu Shanthna has claimed that the Rajasthan Royals player is innocent and that the family knows nothing about spot-fixing. "Please support Sreesanth. He has worked hard for Kerala and its young players. This guy Jiju was supported by Sreesanth to become a better player, we have no idea about how it turned into this. All that we can ask for on behalf of Sreesanth and our family are your wishes and prayers. We have no idea about how to deal with the police or courts. We have never been involved in anything like this before we never expected this," Shanthna said.

12:06 pm: Sources say the transcript shows that Ankeet Chavan was initially reluctant but later succumbed with growing inducement.

11:56 am: Rajasthan Royals cricketer Ankeet Chavan broke down in police custody and has confessed to spot-fixing in IPL 6, say sources. He said he got lured and made a huge mistake.

11:32 am: Dubai-based bookie Sunil Abhichandani aka Sunil, against whom a lookout notice was issued in 2012, is suspected to be the D-company link to the episode of IPL 6 spot-fixing, say sources. Bookie Chandresh is believed to be operating in India on behalf of Sunil Dubai. Sunil Dubai is a wanted accused in betting cases that involved bookies in Pakistan and Dubai.

11:15 am: S Sreesanth's lawyer Deepak Prakash has rejected allegations against the player and has called them baseless. He said the Delhi Police was trying to save its face by framing Sreesanth.

He also said he will apply for Sreesanth's bail on Saturday. "There is no evidence that Sreesanth received money, he has been framed, this should be investigated," Prakash said.

11:05 am: The CBCID is conducting more raids in Tamil Nadu in connection with the IPL spot-fixing case. Six bookies have been detained and Rs 14 lakh cash has been seized.

Mobile phones and laptops have also been seized in the raids.

10:10 am: Rajasthan Royals player Ajit Chandila's involvement is being suspected in games in the previous IPL edition as well, according to sources. Sources: During a dispute between the bookies and Ajit, when he forgot to show the sign after the first match, this claim emerged. The audio analysis done by the special cell has Ajit eluding to 'did you have a problem last time'. The police say now that they are in custody, this angle will be probed too.

Sources indicate Chandila would promise bookies to get more players.

9:14 am: Sources say that the IPL 6 spot-fixing matter will be investigated by the BCCI Committee on corruption. Evidence will be collated and the accused will have to depose, sources add. The matter will then be referred to the IPL disciplinary committee, which is headed by Arun Jaitley.

9:05 am: Sources say the police are hoping for more information during the interrogation of the bookies. Sources also add that one of the bookies who was arrested from Ahmedabad is Amit Singh, who in fact, played for RR till the last season and was the key in spotting talent.

8:47 am: More shocking details are emerging out of the IPL 6 spot-fixing investigations. The Delhi Police Special Cell sources say that the bookies had made a lot of assurances to the arrested players and used to provide all sorts of services to attract them.

Sources also add that ten more bookies are on the radar and they are not ruling out the involvement of other players. Sources say that the police are continuing to track the Western part of the country to track other bookies.

Meanwhile, sources also say that S Sreesanth, who was being defiant earlier, is now co-operating in the investigations.

A day after three Rajasthan Royals players - S Sreesanth, Ajit Chandila and Ankeet Chavan - were arrested and suspended for alleged spot-fixing, the Delhi Police special cell is set to question the arrested bookies for more details. Sources say more than 15 other matches played in IPL 6 are under the radar and this includes teams apart from Rajasthan Royals. As the police have no evidence yet of matching performance on the field with taped conversation between the bookies and players, action has not been taken.

Police sources also say they have taped conversations between bookies and players, other than Sreesanth, Ajit Chandila and Ankeet Chavan, who were sent to five-day police custody. The police have for now confirmed that spot-fixing took place in three Rajasthan Royals matches against Kings XI Punjab, Pune Warriors and Mumbai Indians.

Speaking to IBN18 Editor-in-Chief Rajdeep Sardesai, Delhi Police chief Neeraj Kumar said, "We are aware of only this syndicate. I said in my press conference that there may be other bookies in other cities of the country who may be indulging in similar practices. But we are not aware of this. But it would be unfair on my part to say that it is definitely happening in other cities and that there are other syndicates doing these things."

He also confirmed that the IPL spot-fixing scandal has an underworld connection, "All that we know is the fact that there is an underworld connection. It is difficult to put a finger on a particular group," Neeraj Kumar said.

He said that one of the persons under probe was even using a Dubai number. "The first person we were keeping under observation was using a Dubai number. It is not necessary that the person was in Dubai. You can use a Dubai number sitting anywhere in the world but the fact of the matter is that it was a Dubai number," Neeraj Kumar said.

First Published: May 17, 2013, 8:54 AM IST

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