Fixers use deceptive logos, target various leagues: BCCI anti-corruption official
An International Cricket Council (ICC) anti-corruption official recently said a majority of its 50 ongoing investigations are linked to corruptors in India. The latest investigation by Australian police says they are also casting their net in tennis. Mohali-based Ravinder Dandiwal is one of those being investigated. He is on ICC radar and in BCCI’s list of suspects, whom they call a ‘person of interest’.
Betting is illegal in India (barring horse racing) but it is home to one of the biggest parallel economies and Dandiwal is also allegedly a corruptor in tennis. A Sydney Morning Herald report says Victoria Police documents have named Dandiwal as a central figure in a global tennis match-fixing and betting scam. Dandiwal is a relative of Australia-based Harsimrat Singh, who along with one Rajesh Kumar has been charged by Victoria Police with betting on tennis games allegedly fixed by Dandiwal.
Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) anti-corruption head, Ajit Singh, said as Dandiwal is a ‘person of interest’ they “would keep an eye out, if he is contacting any Indian player”.
“As far as I see it, such people are not hung up on sport. They are hung up on fixing and making money for themselves,” said Singh. Dandiwal’s social media profile till Sunday had listed him as general secretary of ‘Cricket Council of India’, chairman of the ‘Cricket Premier League’ and managing director of ‘Ultimate Sports Management’. That profile has been changed to ‘former owner of Cricket Council of India’.
Cricket Council of India though carries a logo deceptively similar to that of BCCI with only slight difference in the colour scheme. “A lot of such people try to keep a logo similar to BCCI’s. There have been complaints of people posing with BCCI-like logo (on visiting cards). It can fool people,” says Singh.
Though Dandiwal is under BCCI watch, he is known to be operating in cricket only outside India. “He has come to adverse notice of the anti-corruption unit in many matters. He was associated with the Afghanistan Premier League two years ago. He was also involved in a league in Nepal. We also had information he wanted to organise a league in Bangkok. Apart from one scandal, where he carried players to Australia who never returned and it turned out to be an immigration scandal, for which a complaint was filed with Mohali police,” Singh said.
Operating in India, even on unauthorised leagues, has been made difficult, he said. “It’s not easy to do in India anymore after the Rajputana league (unauthorised league) was scuttled; because to attract players, you have to publicise and get it live-streamed or televised. That’s how we come to know, and once we realise it is shady, we can issue an advisory to our state units that players must not be allowed to participate. That’s generally the end of the league.”
With many BCCI state T20 leagues also under the fixing lens, authorities say they have to be vigilant on Dandiwal. “Nothing has come to light. But one doesn’t know yet, if he is also involved in games in India.”