Six cricketers from Hyderabad were duped by a Delhi conman on the pretext of sending them to England to play County cricket. Police said the accused met one of them at a match between a Delhi team and Hyderabad Blues, which is affiliated to the Hyderabad Cricket Association.
"Ranjit Kumar, a cricketer (name changed on request) was approached after the match by a man who introduced himself as Manish Kumar, CMD of a sports company. He appreciated his batting and offered to play him in his club. The Hyderabad team left the next day, and a few days later, Ranjit received a call from Manish with an offer," a senior police officer said.Manish also gave Ranjit details of his website, where he had posted his photographs with several famous international players.
"After going through his website, Ranjit decided to come to Delhi. He called up Manish who told him he was staying at a hotel in New Friends Colony and that he should also book a room there. They met there and Manish offered to give him a chance to play county cricket," the officer added. For this, Manish asked for R3.5 lakh.
The victim went back to arrange the money and returned a month later with his luggage, and stayed at the same hotel. Initially, he paid R1 lakh to Manish and then another Rs 40,000 for travel expenses. Ranjit got suspicious when Manish kept postponing his trip, but he told him he was waiting for seven-eight more cricketers to join.
"Manish asked him if he knew other cricketers who wanted to go to England. The victim spoke to colleagues who were also playing in Hyderabad. Manish spoke to five more cricketers who came to Delhi and stayed at the same hotel. Each of them paid Manish between R1 lakh and R3.5 lakh," the officer said. A few days later, Manish quietly checked out of the hotel, leaving the six players stranded, sources said.
Manish had already been arrested by Hauz Khas police for a similar offence and was out on bail, sources said. "He is currently absconding," the officer added. A case of cheating was registered at the New Friends Colony police station on Sunday.