Rajasthan Royals owner Raj Kundra was in touch with seven bookies and placed bets on his team through three IPL seasons, highly-placed sources claimed Thursday, a day after the British-Indian businessman was questioned by the Delhi Police for 11 hours in connection with the spot-fixing scandal.
His actor wife Shilpa Shetty, on the other hand, made her first bet on “a Delhi Daredevils-Kolkata Knight Riders match” this season, the sources added.
The two teams met twice in Season 6 — in Kolkata on April 3 and in Raipur on May 1. The sources refused to divulge which of the matches was under the scanner.
However, they said the Bollywood star had done it just for “the fun of it” and was “not out to make money like her husband” — who is the second team owner after Chennai Super Kings’ Gurunath Meiyappan to be investigated in the fixing-betting case.
A rattled BCCI has convened an emergent working committee meeting on Monday to discuss the Kundra matter.
“He (Kundra) has admitted to betting. We have also come to know that he lost a lot of money in betting,” Delhi Police commissioner Neeraj Kumar said. “He was in touch with six bookies through his industrialist friend Umesh Goenka.
He was also directly in touch with a bookie through whom he placed bets from off-shore locations or when he was looking after business interests in London,” said an officer. “He has been placing bets for 3 seasons and mostly on his own team.” Kundra was questioned on Wednesday after Royals player Sidharth Trivedi, a prosecution witness, told police that Goenka often sought information on team formation and pitches.
SN Srivastava, special commissioner (special cell), said Goenka had in his statement before a magistrate said he placed bets for Kundra and also made a reference to Shetty, that she placed a bet “once”. HT attempted to contact Shetty over the phone and through text messages but there was no response. But she later tweeted: “For those who care, my apparent involvement in betting is complete nonsense and I’ve never bet on any cricket match ever.”