Harmeet Singh, in his statement to Board of Control for Cricket in India’s (BCCI’s) anti-corruption and security unit chief, Ravi Sawani, claimed that Ajit Chandila deceived him into meeting the bookies.
HT has learnt that the left-arm spinner denied meeting the bookies willingly. “Ajit deceived me into meeting them. I did not even know their names. When I asked Ajit who they were, he brushed aside the topic and claimed they were like his brothers,” Harmeet said in his statement. “It was only when Delhi police showed me their photographs could I recognise them.”
Also, contrary to reports, HT has learnt that the BCCI has not yet suspended the left-arm spinner nor has the board issued him a show-cause notice.
Jitender Singh, a bookie arrested in connection with spot-fixing last week, alleged that he had tried to get Harmeet involved but didn’t strike a deal as the player was too young.
Harmeet, a member of 2012 India under-19 World Cup-winning squad, appeared before Sawani in Mumbai on Saturday.
In the statement, Harmeet added that he was not aware of any fixing. “They never offered me any gifts or money. I could not report about them to the team officials as I had no idea.”
It was learnt during the interaction Harmeet told Sawani that when the scandal broke out, he was too scared to even talk to his dad about it.
Harmeet, who decided to pursue his first-class career from Vidarbha from this season, could not sign the contract due to the controversy. However, a Vidarbha Cricket Association (VCA) official confirmed that Harmeet was not dropped from the VCA XI side last week.