NEW DELHI: The suspended Rajasthan Royals bowlers allegedly struck package deals with different sets of bookies to fix spots during the ongoing Indian Premier League and also scaled up their demands for monetary consideration.
“The bookies had paid Rs. 49 lakh to cricketer Ajit Chandila for spot-fixing. He had also demanded and received money to under-perform in one of his bowling spells during a match between Rajasthan Royals and Sunrisers Hyderabad on May 17. However, he could not execute the conspiracy as he was arrested by the Special Cell,” said a police officer. Chandila had allegedly entered into multiple deals with four sets of bookies.
The officer said five IPL matches played by the accused cricketers had come under the scanner so far. Chandila and his teammate Ankeet Chavan had allegedly been contracted to under-perform in a match on May 12. However, the plan did not materialise as both were dropped from the playing squad that day.
While Chandila had received Rs. 25 lakh from one group of bookies for the match played against Pune Warriors on May 5, he was paid an advance of Rs. 15 lakh by another group for the match against Sunrisers Hyderabad. The officer said the cricketer had struck a deal with the third group of bookies as well and charged an initial amount of Rs. 9 lakh for the job. “As he could not give a pre-determined signal to the bookies to fix the betting rates on May 5, he had to return Rs. 20 lakh following a heated exchange with them over telephone,” said the officer.
Chandila, who had allegedly been hobnobbing with bookies since last year, received Rs.15 lakh through a Patiala-based property dealer, Deepak Kumar, who has been absconding. The property dealer, who worked as a conduit for some bookies, had introduced them to Chandila this April. “Although Chandila gave his consent for a consideration, he initially did not under-perform at their instance. He finally agreed to do so during the match on May 17 for which he had taken the advance through Deepak,” the officer added.
CCTV shows it all
As for Sreesanth and his confidant Jiju Janardanan, the officer said footage of closed-circuit television cameras, installed in hotels in different parts of the country where the duo had stayed during the IPL matches this season, “reveals that they were together most of the time. Hence, Sreesanth cannot dissociate himself from Jiju, through whom he had initially struck deals with bookies and received payments.”
While it is alleged that Chandila had been desperately chasing bookies, Sreesanth and Chavan were purportedly new players in the world of spot-fixing. Suspecting that they too had made arrangements with bookies for multiple matches, the police are interrogating them for clues.
No evidence yet against Vindoo
Investigations into spot-fixing have still not thrown up any evidence against Bollywood actor Vindoo Dara Singh, who has been arrested by the Mumbai Police for alleged links with bookie Ramesh Vyas. “Vyas’ name has also not cropped up in our case so far. The Mumbai Police are pursuing investigations into activities of a different set of bookies,” said the officer.