Karnataka

Match-fixing: CCB arrests Bangalore Blasters bowling coach, batsman

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New case shows coach allegedly manipulated a game between Bangalore Blasters and Belagavi Panthers

The alleged match-fixing and cricket betting scandal that has been plaguing the Karnataka Premier League may be more widespread than believed. The Central Crime Branch on Friday arrested a Bangalore Blasters bowling coach and a batsman formerly with the same team for their involvement in another match-fixing case.

According to the police, the coach — Vinu Prasad — was in nexus with bookies and manipulated a game between the Bangalore Blasters and Belagavi Panthers in 2018. “It was on his instructions that the accused batsman, Vishwanathan, batted slowly, for which he was paid ₹5 lakh. Vinu Prasad had taken several lakhs of rupees from bookies and paid Vishwanathan from that. This was done to ensure a drop in scoreboard. It was decided by the bookies so that they could get more money out of bets,” said a senior police official, who is part of the investigative team.

This is the second racket exposed by the CCB, who in September had arrested Ali Asfak Thara, the owner of Belagavi Panthers, along with four others for allegedly running a betting racket with links in Dubai. “During the course of our investigations into that case, we got information about a similar racket and picked up Bangalore Blasters bowling coach Vinu Prasad and batsman Vishwanathan,” said Sandeep Patil, Joint Commissioner of Police.

Probe is on

The CCB has searched their houses in Bengaluru, and claim to have recovered documents from Vinu Prasad that warrant further investigation.

“Vinu Prasad was in touch with many bookies and we are tracking them now. Efforts are on to arrest these bookies,” said Mr. Patil, adding that investigations are ongoing and the police are probing the involvement of other players in the betting racket.

Vishwanathan is a hard-hitting wicket keeper batsman, while Vinu Prasad was a left-arm spinner who played one Ranji Trophy match for Karnataka in 2008. “We have not got any information so far. If we do, we will take action accordingly,” siad KSCA secretary Santosh Menon.

The story so far

In September, the CCB had arrested Ali Asfak Thara, the owner of Belagavi Panthers, in connection with an international betting racket. They are also probing allegations of match-fixing. A professional drummer was also arrested after cricketer and Ballari Tuskers team member Bhavesh Gulecha filed a complaint with the J.P. Nagar police accusing him and another person of offering him money to fix the match.

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Printable version | Dec 14, 2019 2:28:41 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/match-fixing-ccb-arrests-bangalore-blasters-bowling-coach-batsman/article29802592.ece

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