HindustanTimes Mon,29 Dec 2014
'Black money paid to lure IPL players'
HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times
New Delhi, May 15, 2012
First Published: 00:28 IST(15/5/2012)
Last Updated: 01:47 IST(15/5/2012)
Kings XI Punjab's Shalabh Srivastava in action during the match between Kochi Tuskers Kerala versus Kings XI Punjab at Holkar Stadium in Indore.

A sting operation by a TV news channel has caught a few domestic cricketers claiming that IPL franchises pay them more money than they are entitled to as per the BCCI rules, to retain or lure them from other teams.

Shalabh Srivastava, a medium pacer from Uttar Pradesh who is contracted with Kings XI Punjab, is shown alleging that most teams pay players the extra money in black.

In the sting by India TV, he names a domestic cricketer in Kolkata Knight Riders, who shifted from the Kings XI, and a Pune Warriors player, who shifted from Royal Challengers Bangalore, claiming they were paid in black by franchises.

The sting operation also claimed Srivastava had also agreed to spot-fixing, but this part is only on audio, and is a bit vague. Srivastava was sent home by Kings XI before the start of IPL V, but is still contracted with the team.

“There is no truth in what they are showing about me. It was just friendly talk. They offered me a contract and I asked them to come to Lucknow, but they never came for this,” said Srivastava, denying any wrongdoing.

MP batsman Mohnish Mishra, of Pune Warriors, is shown on camera claiming his team are paying him Rs. 1.45 crore, as much as Rs. 1.2 crore more than his entitled fee as an uncapped player. He gives the undercover reporters the go-ahead to get in touch with other franchisees to get him a bigger contract. A player can’t get in touch with other teams.

Mishra told HT that the person met him as an agent. “I also signed a contract with him which says he will arrange a sponsorship of Rs. 2 lakh per month for me. I bluffed to him saying I’m getting Rs. 1.45 crore from Pune Warriors so that I could get Rs. 2 crore from a future franchise for the next edition. The agent even promised me of getting Rs. 2 crore contract from MI,” Mishra said.

Pune Warriors dismissed the allegations. “It’s absolutely untrue and trash,” Pune Warriors director Abhijit Sarkar said.

Amit Yadav, another Kings XI cricketer, made more serious allegations, claiming spot-fixing happened in the IPL. But the youngster couldn't substantiate his claim. The BCCI has taken the sting seriously and has called an emergency IPL governing council meeting for Tuesday.

“We will ensure the integrity of the game is protected. BCCI believes in the integrity of the game. We will take the strictest possible action. We will have the tapes and the moment we see it, whoever is the player, we will take very, very strict action,” BCCI president N Srinivasan said.

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