Match-fixing spectre back
An India woman cricketer reported a corrupt approach for the first time while the Tamil Nadu Premier League (TNPL) found its coaches and officials under the scanner as the spectre of match-fixing reared its ugly head yet again to cause upheaval in Indian cricket on Monday.
An unnamed member of the Indian women’s cricket team was allegedly approached to fix matches ahead of the home series against England earlier this year, prompting the BCCI’s Anti-Corruption Unit (ACU) to lodge an FIR against two individuals on Monday.
The alleged incident, which the player reported to the ACU, took place in February. Ajit Singh Shekhawat, the former DGP of Rajasthan and who heads the BCCI’s ACU, said: “She is an India cricketer and also an 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 Bangalore police against two individuals, Rakesh Bafna and Jitendra Kothari, for the alleged approach.
This was after the TNPL, an event run by the Tamil Nadu Cricket Association (TNCA), found itself in troubled waters with a few first-class cricketers and a couple of coaches coming under the ACU’s scanner for suspected match-fixing.
Shekhawat, however, has ruled out the possibility of any international player being a suspect. The TNPL started in 2016 and features eight franchises.
“Some players have reported that they received WhatsApp messages from certain unknown people. We are trying to find out who those people are. We have recorded the statements of the players and we will try to track the senders of the messages,” he told reporters in New Delhi.
“There is no international player... any player who has got the message, he is supposed to report it to us, it’s part of his obligation,” Shekhawat said.
The allegations will come as a blow to TNCA and its former president N. Srinivasan. The spot-fixing saga in IPL had brought about his end in the BCCI.
Ahead of the BCCI elections on October 22, the Committee of Administrators chief Vinod Rai has said that non-compliant state units like Tamil Nadu and Haryana risk losing their voting rights in BCCI though their cricketing activities will not be affected.
The BCCI then will most likely form an ad-hoc body to run the cricketing affairs in the two states.
The TNCA said it has formed a committee to look into the allegations.