Delhi police have sent teams across the country to apprehend a possible fourth module of bookies as they are convinced Ajit Chandila, the key figure in the spot-fixing scandal, was manipulating.
Special cell officials claimed on Thursday that the disgraced Rajasthan Royals bowler was involved in spot-fixing last year too. He took R12 lakh from arrested bookie-cum-fixer Sunil Bhatia but could not deliver on his promise as he did not play many matches. When Bhatia wanted the money back, Chandila issued three cheques of R4 lakh each, but two bounced.
“This season, he was dealing with four sets of bookies from whom he had received money separately for underperforming in atleast four different matches. Though he conceded the pre-fixed 14 runs in the May 5 match, the bookies who paid him R20 lakh couldn’t bet because the pre-planned signal was not given by him,” said an officer.
“The fact that he couldn’t perform for one set of bookies doesn’t mean he didn’t or couldn’t do so for another set,” he added.
HT in their May 18 edition had reported that Chandila was involved in fixing more than one match in season 5 and that he was paid between R10-15 lakh.
With confirmation coming that Sreesanth was suspended by the Royals team management after fighting with coach Paddy Upton under the influence after the May 9 match where he fixed one over, Delhi police are probing whether the management already suspected his involvement in spot-fixing.
Senior police officers suspect Sreesanth got angry after he was dropped for the next match. The suspicion has been strengthened because the team did not issue any media release for their decision.
The police are also investigating why Sreesanth went to Mumbai even after he was dropped. “The entire team stayed at Trident while Sreesanth booked himself at Hotel Sofitel. We suspect his visit was to convince any Royals player to spot-fix in further matches as he had been dropped,” a source said. But the Delhi police failed to seize CCTV footage of Hotel Sofitel as it was already taken away by the Mumbai Police.