Police mounted raids in different parts of Maharashtra and tracked down Manish Guddewar (32), who played Ranji matches for Vidarbha during 2003-05, and alleged fixers Kiran Dole (42) and Sunil Bhatia (44)
The Delhi Police Special Cell has arrested a former Ranji player along with two of his accomplices from Aurangabad in Maharashtra for allegedly facilitating meetings between Rajasthan Royals bowler Ajit Chandila and bookies. Another cricketer, who played for Indian Railways in Ranji Trophy matches, has also been detained.
A senior police officer said at this stage there was no need for questioning the team management or their players. But, if required, they would be contacted for clarifications in future. “It is an open-ended probe during which we will pursue all possible leads to identify those who were involved in spot-fixing in conspiracy with the bookies,” said the police officer.
Police investigations have revealed that Chandila, who is now in their custody along with his teammates S. Sreesanth and Ankeet Chavan, was “readily available” to the bookies. He had parallel links with four sets of bookies, several of whom have been arrested by the Special Cell. “He was in contact with the bookies since last year and we suspect that he had also indulged in spot-fixing during the 2012 edition of IPL, but we are yet to gather concrete evidence in this regard,” said the officer. In all, 17 persons have been arrested in the case so far.
At Chandila’s instance, the police mounted raids in different parts of Maharashtra and tracked down his three contacts — Manish Guddewar (32), who played Ranji matches for Vidarbha during 2003-05, and alleged fixers Kiran Dole (42) and Sunil Bhatia (44) — to Aurangabad around 5 a.m. on Sunday. The three accused hail from Nagpur.
“Guddewar was a neighbour of Chandila in Faridabad before 2000 and they played cricket together. The former then went on to play Ranji for Vidarbha from 2003 onwards. It was through Dole and Bhatia that Guddewar had arranged Chandila’s meetings with a bookie named Ashwini Aggarwal,” said the officer. The Rajasthan Royals bowler allegedly met the bookies on several occasions in Delhi, Gurgaon, Chandigarh and Mumbai to negotiate the deals for spot-fixing. Aggarwal is alleged to be a top player in the betting circuits and has suspected links with the Mumbai underworld.
Another Railway squad cricketer identified as Baburao Yadav is learnt to have been detained by the police for his alleged links with the bookies and will soon be arrested in the case. “The probe has revealed that the former players under the scanner were mediating between the current IPL team members and the bookies. Accused Jiju Janardanan, a close aide of Sreesanth who was striking deals on his behalf, and bookie Amit Singh were former cricketers,” said the officer.
The police claim that they are in the process of gathering details of how much of the money that the Rajasthan Royals cricketers purportedly received were spent. The accused cricketers had thrown lavish parties and bought expensive gifts and other articles.
The Delhi Police denied having received any complaint from the Rajasthan Royals’ owners against their three team members. “We saw such reports in a section of the media, but have not been contacted by them so far,” said the officer.