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HindustanTimes Wed,02 Jul 2014
IPL spot-fixing row: BCCI worried, MPs seek probe
Agencies
New Delhi, May 15, 2012
First Published: 09:22 IST(15/5/2012)
Last Updated: 15:32 IST(15/5/2012)
Kings XI Punjab's Shalabh Srivastava in action during the match between Kochi Tuskers Kerala versus Kings XI Punjab at Holkar Stadium in Indore.

The BCCI on Tuesday termed the alleged spot-fixing scandal in the Indian Premier League and other domestic competitions as "disturbing" and said it would take strict action against those found guilty of indulging in corrupt practices.

"The footage that was shown by the television channel was very disturbing," BCCI chief admisnistrative officer Ratnakar Shetty said.

"There has been an immediate action proposed by the BCCI president, and strong action will be taken against those found to be guilty," he added.

The alleged spot-fixing scandal in the IPL had its echo in the Lok Sabha on Tuesday with members seeking a high-level probe into match fixing charges and the way in which blackmoney was coming into play in it.

The matter was raised during Zero Hour by Samajwadi Party member Shailendra Kumar and supported by former cricketer Kirti Azad of the BJP.

Kumar said when there was a demand to check the flow of blackmoney and bringing it back from foreign banks, "blackmoney is being turned into white through the IPL."

The channel, India TV, claimed it had done a sting operation in which many IPL players confessed on hidden camera that they get much more than their prescribed auction under the table.

According to the channel, its operation also revealed that spot-fixing is not only prevalent in IPL but also that first class matches are fixed and women played an important role in match-fixing.

"We will not tolerate any such thing. BCCI has zero tolerance when it comes to corruption and dope related issues.

These footage are very disturbing for the BCCI," said Shetty.

Shetty also informed that BCCI president N Srinivasan has asked the television channel for the CD to see the "complete footage" of the 'sting operation' and examine it thoroughly.

"The Board has written a letter to the channel and has asked for the CD and get an access to whatever was displayed.

The BCCI will fully inquire into the issue," he insisted.

The IPL's governing council will have a tele-conference this afternoon to discuss the television sting operation which claims to have blown the lid off "murky deals" in the cash-rich T20 league.

IPL chairman Rajiv Shukla said strict action would be taken if any player is found to be involved in spot-fixing.

However, Shalabh Srivastava has denied the spot-fixing charge and said that the audio clip a TV channel is playing is doctored and also threatened to sue the channel.

"I fail to understand whatever is being said about spot-fixing. The voice in that telephonic conversation is not mine. It is very easy to frame anyone with a doctored audio clip," Shalabh Srivastav said.

Top BCCI officials have already started discussing the issue among themselves amid indications that stern action could be taken against a few players who are shown in the TV sting operation.

"The IPL Governing Council will discuss the issue. We have asked for the tapes. We will study the tapes and then take a decision", a top BCCI source said.

The channel, India TV, claimed it had done a sting operation in which many players confessed on hidden camera they get much more than their prescribed auction under the table.

According to the channel, its operation also revealed that spot-fixing is not only prevalent in IPL but also that first class matches are fixed and women played an important role in match-fixing.

Asked about the sting operation, BCCI chief N Srinivasan had said, "We will ensure that the integrity of the game is protected. BCCI believes in the integrity of the game. We will take the strictest possible action. We will have to have the tapes and the moment we see it, whoever is the player, we will take very very strict action."

"If there is any truth in it... It is a fact that we will take strictest action. Even if it means suspending the player immediately. But (that has to be) based on some evidence and fact, for which I have asked the COO of IPL Sundar Raman to request for the tape," Srinivasan said.

The BCCI said it will seek "complete footage" of the 'sting operation' and examine it thoroughly.

BCCI's Chief Administrative Officer Ratnakar Shetty said the entire incident was very disturbing and the Cricket Board would take strong action against any player found to be guilty.

Kings XI Punjab player Shalabh Srivastava, who is one of the players shown in the sting operation, vehemently denied any wrong-doing and threatened to take legal action against the channel.

"If they are showing all the video clips, why are they not showing that I have demanded Rs. 10 lakhs from them.

Whatever they are showing...it is not my voice. You know its very easy to doctor anyone's image and put their names and run it", Srivatsava said.

"I will definitely file a case against them (the channel)", he said.

"I had just seven or eight meetings with them, and they introduced themselves as a sports management people. They told me they can help me to shift to some other franchisee where I can be paid better."

"I am not the only one to meet them, I can tell you they have met at least 50 IPL players. I myself have talked to 15 such players about the issue. They all were doubtful that whether they are from a sports management company or not because they always used to talk about fixing and who is getting how much money," Srivatsava said.

Mohnish Mishra of Pune Warriors, TP Sudhindra of Deccan Chargers and Amit Yadav of Kings XI Punjab were the three other players who were shown in the sting operation.


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