Mumbai batsman Hiken Shah is "shocked" that the Indian cricket board has found him guilty of making a "corrupt approach" to a fellow player to fix IPL games.
Shah, who is not a part of any Indian Premier League (IPL) team, said he had approached leg-spinner Pravin Tambe for a "coaching thing".
Last month, HT had reported it was Rajasthan Royals' Tambe who had allegedly been approached by a Mumbai Ranji teammate at the beginning of this year’s IPL to help fix matches.
"I am shocked. I have not been involved in any irregular activity. I have replied to the BCCI (Board of Control for Cricket in India) and there is nothing more that I want to say," Shah told Times Now on Monday.
"I have no idea what is happening. I had just met Pravin Tambe for coaching thing and not any irregular activity," Shah added.
The BCCI has suspended 30-year-old Shah, who is employed with the Customs department and is in England playing club cricket in the Lancashire League.
Shah has played 37 first-class matches for Mumbai and has 2160 runs at an average of 42.35.
MCA to counsel players against corrupt practices
Expressing shock at the involvement of Shah in attempting to fix IPL games, the Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA) has decided to counsel its players about the dangers of trying to corrupt the game.
"We are very much shocked that yet another of our players (after Ankit Chavan in 2013) has allegedly done this. We shall take corrective measures by counselling our players on the dangers of these things. It's very sad," said MCA's joint secretary Dr PV Shetty.
The BCCI said in a statement earlier that Shah was found guilty of breaching the board's anti-corruption code for participants and the matter was referred to its disciplinary committee for further action.
"BCCI would wish to inform that Mumbai Cricketer, Hiken Shah, has been suspended with immediate effect. He was found guilty of breaching BCCI's Anti-Corruption Code for participants," the board said in a statement issued by secretary Anurag Thakur.
For Shetty, who owns the Payyade club for which left-handed middle order batsman Shah plays, the blow is all the more damning. He said everyone in MCA was surprised that someone could do this after having seen what happened to left arm spinner Chavan two years ago.
"After Ankit none of us ever thought another cricketer would attempt to do such things. But the BCCI must have investigated the matter and they must have suspended Hiken after getting evidence. We accept their decision and would implement it," said Shetty.