The Rajasthan Royals player has no criminal involvement, claim sleuths

Siddharth Trivedi, yet another Rajasthan Royals player whose name cropped up during the IPL spot-fixing investigations, has been made a prosecution witness in the case and his statement has been recorded before a magistrate under Section 164 of the Criminal Procedure Code and thus amounts to admissible evidence.

The fast bowler was approached by the bookies and purportedly received gifts from them without informing either his IPL team management or the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).

The sleuths claim that he had “no criminal involvement but knew a lot about the nexus between his IPL teammates and bookies.”

After being asked to join the investigations on Thursday, Mr. Trivedi, who plays for Saurashtra in the Ranji Trophy, was interrogated at the Special Cell office.

During interrogation, he purportedly revealed that it all started in the 2010 edition of the J.P. Atray tournament in Chandigarh where he, Ajit Chandila and Ankeet Chavan had represented Air India with which all three were employed.

“As the tournament was in progress, Mr. Trivedi and Mr. Chandila met several bookies and among them was Deepak, an alleged conduit for bookies who is currently in judicial custody. Since then, both the cricketers met several bookies and received from them apparels and perfumes in gifts. Mr. Trivedi was also offered money for spot-fixing in IPL matches in 2012 but he did not yield,” said a senior police officer.

He added that in 2013, such demands were made again but attracted a negative response from the bowler.

“Minimal role”

Mr. Trivedi was also invited for parties thrown by fixers but he turned down the invitations, said the police. “His refusals point to a minimal or a borderline role in the entire scheme of things and that is why we decided to use him as a prosecution witness,” said the officer.

The police said when they had started investigating, they had not received any intelligence on Mr. Trivedi’s possible involvement and his name surfaced only during the interrogation of others, including Amit Singh, a former Rajasthan Royals cricketer-turned-bookie. Investigations have also indicated that in 2010, Mr. Singh, who played alongside Mr. Trivedi for Gujarat Ranji side before the latter moved to Saurashtra, had also approached him for fixing.

J.P. Atray trophy, affiliated to the Punjab Cricket Association which is a unit of the BCCI, incidentally, is one of the tournaments where several IPL franchisees send their representatives to scout for upcoming talent as a large number of young players compete there. The police said Mr. Trivedi, who has been associated with the Rajasthan Royals since the league’s first edition, helped Mr. Chandila to get into the Rajasthan Royals team in 2012 when the spot of a spinner opened up.

Disciplinary action likely

It is likely that the BCCI could take disciplinary action against him as it has done with the other cricketers allegedly involved in the case. As per the International Cricket Council’s code of conduct, “players and/or team officials shall be required to report to their Captain and/or Team Manager or to a senior Board official or to the Anti Corruption and Security Unit any approach made to them by a bookmaker or any other corrupt approach or knowledge of such approach made to any other player or team official.”

  • Trivedi, Chandila and Chavan first met bookies in 2010 during the J.P. Atray tournament

  • Trivedi did not yield to spot-fixing in IPL matches in 2012 and 2013: Police