Chennai Super Kings owner Gurunath Meiyappan won most bets he placed on his team’s matches, the police said.
Gurunath’s bets on a match ranged between Rs5 lakh and Rs20 lakh, police said. While he claimed he lost Rs. 1 crore in bets, officers said he had won several bets too, especially those placed on CSK. Being closely associated with the franchise, he could not place bets directly but routed them through bookies like Vindoo Dara Singh, police said, adding that he placed bets on other teams too.
The Mumbai crime branch will now be checking if calls were made during the strategic time-outs — gaps between an innings for teams to decide strategy for the next few overs — to leak team strategies to bookies.
Himanshu Roy, joint commissioner of police (crime), said: “We will check phone records to see if someone from the team made calls to bookies during time-outs. Information on how a team will play in the next few overs could be vital to bookies.” However, the crime branch has denied having any evidence of involvement of CSK players or team managers in spot-fixing.
The crime branch will interrogate Gurunath to find out if he passed on key information about the team to outsiders. Roy said that a person in his position would be privy to information such as the team composition and whether a particular player would be playing a match. “This is key information for someone who is placing a bet on a match,” said Roy.
When asked if Gurunath was involving in spot-fixing apart from placing bets, Roy said: “At this stage, we are not ruling out anything.” Roy said that even if proof of Gurunath’s involvement in spot-fixing surfaces, the charges against him will remain the same as there is no separate law to book people involved in spot-fixing.
Gurunath on Friday night had tried to shift the blame of betting on Vindoo, said crime branch sources. “He could be saying that to shift the blame from himself,” Roy said.
Meiyappan allegedly placed huge bets in the earlier seasons, too, and the crime branch will probe if a direct link to the earlier season emerges.