According to a report in the Indian Express, an internal investigation led by BCCI’s anti-corruption unit (ACU) headed by Ajit Singh is underway after evidence of rampant corruption was found in the Tamil Nadu Premier League. The report states that bookies and match-fixers have taken control of one of the TNPL teams through an illegal deal and are making huge gains out of it.
“The serious development has the potential to compromise the entire T20 League since important persons are in touch with bookies are spreading in different teams,” the report quoted a source as saying.
Players have informed the ACU about bookies approaching them through whatsapp.
“Yes, some of the players have approached us and based on their statements, we have initiated an enquiry. We have also recorded their statement on how and when they received messages from the unknown person," Ajit Singh told ANI. “Actually, there was a WhatsApp message that was sent by some unknown people and then the players approached the ACU. It can be anyone but we are sure that there is no international player involved."
The Express report says that a consortium comprising of Gujarat and Kolkata based bookies were in touch with a TNPL team owner. The owner was paid Rs 4 crores after meeting held in Jaipur, Kolkata and Chennai with alleged fixer promising more money through betting with inside information. A First-class cricketer and a current coach were ready to follow the instructions for a price and coach is believed to have asked for Rs. 25 lakhs.
Another player allegedly labeled ‘dubious’ is a regular in IPL and is said to have influenced others to fix games before the start of the 2019 season that ended last month. The probe has also revealed instances of bookies choosing squads and a young player getting preference over a veteran since the team owner had helped him in his education and provided financial help for his sister’s wedding.
The report will be a setback for the TNPL which has been one of the more successful domestic T20 leagues in the country. It was inaugurated by MS Dhoni four years ago and has seen involvement of big names like Matthew Hayden, Brett Lee, Dean Jones among others as commentators.