The Delhi police have arrested former India Test bowler Sreesanth and two of his other teammates from Rajasthan Royals on grounds that they have been involved in spot fixing in the Indian Premier League. India’s cricket board took action by suspending Sreesanth and teammates Ankeet Chavan and Ajit Chandila. If found guilty, the trio would have to face stricter punishments. The cricket board is firm on its stand to fight illegal activities like spot-fixing and will not condone any form of corruption.
It is suspected that Sreesanth had agreed to concede 13 or more runs in his second over for the match played on 09/05/13 for a sum of 4 million rupees. Reports added that Sreesanth tucked a towel in his waistband so as to send signals to a bookie, who could then place heavy bets on the run. The Delhi Police Commissioner, Neeraj Kumar, said that Sreesanth had bowled the first over without the use of the towel. Subsequently, the towel was placed in his trousers. To allow the bookies to place their bets carefully, Sreesanth then warmed up, stretched and gave 13 runs.
Without revealing too many details, the board said that there seems to be overseas connections associated with this spot-fixing incident and that there is sufficient proof that even the underworld is involved. The three players were arrested after listening to taped conversations lasting hundreds of hours. Two dozens of these phone calls were said to have originated from Pakistan, now regarded as home to a section of the Mumbai underworld
Following the controversy about spot-fixing, more ugly facts are even being revealed. According to news reports, one of the accused, Chavan has allegedly admitted to the charges laid on him. It is said that he also broke down during the investigations by the police. However, among the trio, Sreesanth remains firm on his stand and insists that he was framed by the bookies. Lawyers acting on behalf of Sreesanth said that there was no basis for the claims made against Sreesanth. The trio accused of spot-fixing have been sent to police custody for a period of 5 days.
30 year old Sreesanth hails from Kerala and has featured in 27 Tests and 53 ODIs. The other two accussed are spinners with Chavan hailing from Mumbai and Chandila from Haryana. This scandal is the worst to have hit the Indian Premier League, a series which attracts the best cricketers from around the world. Kumar also reported that while Chavan was paid Rs.60 lakhs by the bookies, Sreesanth and Chandila received a sum of Rs.40 lakhs each. 11 bookies were also arrested by the Special Cell of Delhi Police from New Delhi, Mumbai and Ahmedabad. The Police department had confiscated about 55 mobile phones and laptops. They are yet to recover the money they were paid.