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Thursday, Dec 12, 2019

Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy: Suspected bookie call in national T20 tournament being investigated

It has been learnt that the player approached belonged to the Karnataka side. He got a phone call during the Surat leg of the competition after which he promptly reported it to the Board’s anti-corruption unit (ACU).

cricket Updated: Dec 03, 2019 12:57 IST
Rasesh Mandani
Rasesh Mandani
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
File image: Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) president Sourav Ganguly with BCCI Secretary Jay Shah and Treasurer Arun Singh Dhumal.
File image: Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) president Sourav Ganguly with BCCI Secretary Jay Shah and Treasurer Arun Singh Dhumal.(PTI)
         

BCCI president Sourav Ganguly’s statement on Sunday that a player was approached by a bookie during the just-concluded Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 Trophy makes it clear, spot-fixing remains a threat not just in state T20 leagues, even in BCCI-run domestic tournaments, if they are televised or live streamed. It has been learnt that the player approached belonged to the Karnataka side. He got a phone call during the Surat leg of the competition after which he promptly reported it to the Board’s anti-corruption unit (ACU).

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This incident comes close on heels of scandals during the Karnataka Premier League (KPL) and Tamil Nadu Premier League (TNPL). Former Karnataka players CM Gautam, who has also competed in IPL and played for India A, and Abrar Kazi were arrested for alleged involvement in spot-fixing during KPL.

“A person, not yet identified, called up and tried to establish contact. The conversation was along the lines of ‘if we can be of any help, let us know’. The number from which the call came is from somewhere in Gujarat and the caller is being chased for more information,” said a source in the BCCI ACU.

The ACU is now investigating if the caller making the approach has had any connection with KPL in the past. The panel has also added him to its person of interest (under scanner) list.

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‘need to get system right’

The ACU, which is relatively under-strength, has recently taken charge of state leagues like TNPL and KPL, which used to earlier hire private firms for their anti-corruption operations. “It is very difficult to stop (state-level) tournaments just because somebody is approached. In some of the states, it has gone to the next level. We are dealing with it and we need to get the anti-corruption system right,” Ganguly said.