Cricket

Palpable distress and angst in Karnataka’s cricketing circles after match-fixing arrests

Bellary Tuskers captain C.M. Gautam

Bellary Tuskers captain C.M. Gautam   | Photo Credit: Handout

Gautam and Kazi’s arrest shocks cricketing fraternity

There was sense of deep anguish in the Karnataka cricketing circles over the arrest of senior cricketer C.M. Gautam and Abrar Kazi in connection with the match-fixing and betting scam in the Karnataka Premier League.

The people The Hindu spoke to — players, both former and active, seasoned coaches and officials — understandably chose to remain anonymous, but distress and angst was palpable.

The Ballari Tuskers players The Hindu reached out to expressed their shock at the developments. During the KPL final, they had not had any reason to suspect anything was amiss, they said.

A former Karnataka coach expressed a similar sentiment. “I’m really shocked; I’m feeling absolutely low,” he said. “It is impossible to even imagine. I never thought such big names would be involved. It’s not as if they are some young, gullible players.”

He added: “Players need to be mentored; they need moral values. The most important thing in life is self-respect and how you have lived. Money is not everything. It is important, but not at the cost of everything else.”

A former seasoned Karnataka cricketer, who had also captained a side in the KPL, termed the fiasco damaging for the State’s reputation. “I always thought that big cricketers generally don't get involved in such things. Why do they need to? But this is very very surprising,” he said.

“If you see the reputation Karnataka cricket enjoys, this comes as a huge shock. Forget this controversy, we don’t even have simple friendly fights and arguments on the field! That's how good Karnataka cricket is. When I was playing, I didn't even think such [scams] could be possible here.”

A top KSCA official said the administrative and cricketing fraternity was left deeply disappointed. “I do not think any level of player should get involved in such things. It is very unfortunate and disappointing that big players are involved. Now depending on where the investigations go, we may even consider life bans.”

(With inputs from Shreedutta Chidananda)

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Printable version | Feb 21, 2020 2:12:58 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/cricket/palpable-distress-and-angst-in-karnatakas-cricketing-circles-after-match-fixing-arrests/article29912362.ece

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