Bookies could not rope in Shane Watson, says Harmeet

The meeting was held a few days after Harmeet was signed.

July 05, 2013 01:56 am | Updated June 07, 2016 09:38 am IST - NEW DELHI:

In his confessional statement, Rajasthan Royals cricketer Harmeet Singh has revealed that bookies wanted to rope Australian all-rounder Shane Watson into the Indian Premier League spot-fixing network but could not succeed.

Sharing the details of his meeting with bookies Manan and Jeetendra Jain, brokered by his Rajasthan Royals teammate Ajit Chandila in February this year, the 20-year-old told the magistrate that Watson’s name figured in a conversation between Chandila and Jeetendra. “It was during the meeting,” said a senior police officer, “that the bookies asked Chandila if he could rope in Watson as they needed a batsman. This, however, elicited a negative response from Chandila, who told them that he could not ‘arrange’ Watson.”

The meeting was held in a hotel at Bandra in Mumbai a few days after Harmeet was signed by Rajasthan Royals.

“In February, when Harmeet was playing in a local tournament, he was called up by Chandila, who took him to the hotel. Before going to the meeting, Chandila asked Harmeet to comply with whatever he was told by the people he met at the hotel,” said the officer.

With photographs shown to him, Harmeet identified two of the three men he met as Jeetendra and Manan, while the identity of the third has not yet been ascertained.

“According to Harmeet, the bookies themselves chose not to involve him as he was ‘too young’ and asked him to play and gain some confidence. After the meeting, when he asked Chandila about the identities of the people he met, he asked him not to worry about all that,” said the officer.

The officer added that they had no reason to suspect Harmeet’s own involvement in spot fixing.

Harmeet played one match for Rajasthan Royals in the sixth edition of IPL where his figures read 4-0-34-1.

Harmeet -whose name had cropped up during the interrogation of alleged bookie-cum-fixer Jeetendra Jain -is the second Rajasthan Royals player after Siddharth Trivedi to get his statement recorded before a magistrate under section 164 of the Criminal Procedure Code.

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