In an ironic twist of fate, S Sreesanth’s first night in police custody was spent in the confines of the same room where his fate was gradually being sealed over the past month.
Protestors set fire to posters bearing portraits of cricketer Sreesanth and two other Twenty20 cricketers during a protest against their alleged involvement in spot-fixing, in Bangalore. AFP photo
The Indian pacer, sources told HT, was lodged in the retiring room-cum-office chamber of slain
inspector Badrish Dutt, and is sharing the usual ‘daal-roti’ fare prepared by a Bengali cook at the official mess.
After a city court sent them to five days police remand, the tainted trio are being kept in three separate rooms, which are usually occupied by three senior inspectors as rest rooms at the office of the special cell facility in south Delhi's Lodhi Colony.
“Everything happened in such a hurry that we didn’t know where else to keep the three players,” said an officer. “We caught them in Mumbai, flew them down to Delhi and produced them in court within 24 hours — no other arrangement could have been made.”
Twist of fate
In Sreesanth’s case, it was in the same 10x12 feet room where Dutt, who was found dead under mysterious circumstances with his live-in partner Geeta Sharma last Saturday, had meticulously gathered proof against him and two of his team mates beginning early April.
Sources said Sreesanth, Ankeet Chavan and Ajit Chandila — who were snoozing ever since they boarded a Delhi-bound flight after arrest — were given daal and roti for dinner before being allowed some scattered sleep on Thursday night.
“They were woken up around nine am, allowed to freshen-up before we commenced their preliminary questioning over tea and some biscuits while we waited for senior officers to reach,” said another officer.
Sources said all three players broke down — Sreesanth being the first — as soon as they were brought face to face with Delhi Police commissioner, Neeraj Kumar.
Though senior police personnel did not to divulge any details of the proceedings during questioning, sources said Sreesanth told them he had committed a ‘mistake’ and that he was ‘sorry’.
“He claimed he had been trapped into the scam by his close friend Jiju Janardhanan,” said one officer.
Chavan and Amit Singh, a former Rajasthan Royals pacer-turned-bookie, also broke down when they were interrogated.
Sources said the players have been co-operating with investigators and have made some important disclosures
that could open a can of worms pertaining to spot-fixing and match fixing in the previous seasons of the T20 league, especially with many matches played last year already under the police scanner.