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IPL betting probe: BCCI ACSU chief says no approach made to players in Kanpur

Neeraj Kumar, a former Delhi Police Commissioner, made the clarification following speculation that the trio arrested from the team hotel on Thursday, after an Indian Premier league match in Kanpur, had mentioned they had approached a few players.

ipl 2017 Updated: May 12, 2017 23:43 IST
Sharad Deep
Sharad Deep
Hindustan Times
IPL 2017,Gujarat Lions vs Delhi Daredevils,BCCI
The Gujarat Lions vs Delhi Daredevils Indian Premier League (IPL) 2017 has come under betting scanner.(AFP)

The Board of Control for Cricket’s (BCCI) Anti-Corruption Unit head, Neeraj Kumar, said on Friday that there was no evidence of IPL team players having been approached in the case involving the arrest of three men in Kanpur over links with an illegal betting syndicate.

Neeraj Kumar, a former Delhi Police Commissioner, made the clarification following speculation that the trio arrested from the team hotel on Thursday had mentioned during police questioning that they had approached a few players.

However, sources said a few players belonging to Gujarat Lions, who next host holders Sunrisers Hyderabad at the Green Park on Saturday, are likely to be asked to clarify their meeting some unknown people before Lions’ match against Delhi Daredevils played on Wednesday.

Read | Police arrest three after Kanpur IPL match over alleged involvement in betting

The arrests have once again brought cricket in Kanpur and Hotel Landmark under the limelight. According to sources, the trio not just managed to book rooms in the team hotel, but also reportedly got their rooms shifted closer to that of the players.

This isn’t the first time such an incident is connected to Hotel Landmark, where cricket teams stay during any major match in Kanpur.

Read | IPL betting rackets busted in Mumbai, 14 bookies held in 2 days

The CBI report on corruption in cricket released in 2000 said it was where then India skipper Mohammad Azharuddin introduced bookie Mukesh Kumar Gupta alias MK to then South Africa captain, the late Hansie Cronje.

According to the report, Mukesh Gupta told investigators that he was introduced to Cronje during the third Test between India and South Africa at Kanpur in 1996. Hotel records show MK had stayed at Hotel Landmark where India and South Africa teams were staying during the Test.

Read | IPL betting racket busted in east Delhi, six men arrested

A local police source said things have changed since then. “The modus operandi has changed as bookies now operate through Instagram, Whatsapp and other social media sites to stay in touch with people concerned, but attempts at fixing game remain unchanged even today,” the source told HT on condition of anonymity.

However, it is a challenge for officials to keep track of suspicious activities during the IPL and players too cannot entirely stay away because they have to meet a number of fans and attend various functions while travelling from one city to another as there is a strong entertainment element to the league.

First Published: May 12, 2017 20:40 IST