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Govt to probe funding, not match-fixing in IPL

Apr 24, 2010 08:48 AM IST Politics Politics

New Delhi: The ongoing countrywide investigations are to establish the source of funding of Indian Premier League franchisees and not to probe match fixing charges, sources have told CNN-IBN.

The income tax department's report is what is now being termed as IPLgate allegedly contains evidence of match-fixing. Sandwiched between 11 pages of details is one paragraph titled 'Betting Racket' with no details of just how exactly it can be investigated.

To make matters worse, a report which has now become the basis of extensive media speculation and reporting is being completely denied by the income tax department. Top IT sources told CNN IBN late Friday evening that there is no income tax report including the one which alleges match-fixing. They also say that the ongoing probe was limited to examining the source of the IPL franchisees.

Meanwhile, the left leaders who have been quite vocal on the issue have insisted they never raised match fixing as the focus of this issue. They rather wanted government to unearth the financial scam behind IPL.

"I never spoke about match-fixing. The government must find out where all this money is coming from. My point is not Lalit modi. My point is not anybody. My point is where from this huge money coming suddenly. Why suddenly Mr Shah Rukh Khan has become intersted in cricket?," CPI leader Gurudas Dasgupta told CNN-IBN.

The income tax report also mentions of a page 3 friend of Lalit Modi as being responsible for 'outcome fixing' but provides no evidence.

It speaks of match-fixing, but there are no details on how, where and when this match fixing took place. Moreover, names of certain teams in the report are also incorrectly mentioned. Kolkata Knight Riders have been referred to as Kolkotta Royals.

Meanwhile, the Congress has denied that the government was out to fix anybody.

"The allegations that we are out to fix Mr Sharad Pawar or anybody else, I believe, is totally wrong. Its false, its baseless and its not true," says Congress spokesperson, Jayanthi Natrajan

With widespread allegations the crisis is a mere front for a slug-fest between the Congress and NCP. There are questions over whether leaking of an unverified report was aimed more at discrediting political rivals and less to fix the critical concern of the rot within Indian cricket.