The alleged ill-gotten gains from IPL-VI have resulted in Ankeet Chavan’s cricket world crumbling. A promising player with a record collection of 33 wickets and 227 runs from 10 matches, he played a role in Mumbai winning the Ranji Trophy for the 40th time last season.
Chavan’s career was on a high, but the pursuit of big bucks through dishonest means has brought an abrupt end to his career.
The writing was on the wall once the Delhi Police arrested him in May and made public the murky details of the involvement of a handful of cricketers in spot-fixing and corruption.
Life — although a court granted him bail for a week to get married — changed for the worse after the Mumbai Indians versus Rajasthan Royals match at the Wankhede on May 15. On Friday the BCCI’s disciplinary committee handed him a life ban.
Chavan’s rise in Mumbai cricket was gradual, similar to that of some of his predecessors like Nilesh Kulkarni, Ravi Thakkar and Sanjay Patil.
Chavan had to fight for a place in the team with other left-arm spinners like Iqbal Abdullah, Gaurav Jathar and Harmeet Singh, all India under-19 players.
Once Abdullah’s form dipped, the Mumbai selectors offered Chavan a chance. He also scored some useful runs and convinced the discerning that he was a perfect fit for first-class and limited-over matches.
After donning the lion crest for two consecutive seasons, Chavan appeared to have cemented his place in the Mumbai team. He took nine second innings wickets against Punjab at the Wankhede in December, 2012 and made an unbeaten 102 in trying conditions against Madhya Pradesh in January, 2012 at Indore.
“It’s a sad day for Mumbai cricket. It is a pity. He was all set to play for India ‘A’ as he was a good wicket-taker,” said Mumbai Cricket Association Jt. Hon. Secretary Nitin Dalal.