IPL spot-fixing: Interim report suggests life ban for tainted trio, say sources

The players include S Sreesanth, Ankeet Chavan and Ajit Chandila who were arrested last month on charges of spot-fixing in the Indian Premier League.

Updated: June 10, 2013 17:13 IST
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New Delhi: What happens next to Raj Kundra, co-owner of the Rajasthan Royals IPL franchise, is expected to be decided at an emergency meeting of the Board of Control for Cricket in India this morning. The police has alleged that Mr Kundra has admitted to betting in the Indian Premier League.

The Board will also review an interim report submitted by the head of the BCCI's anti-corruption unit Ravi Sawani, which sources say, has recommended a life ban for the three Rajasthan Royals players, including Test cricketer S Sreesanth, who are in jail on charges of spot-fixing in the sixth edition of the IPL that ended last month. (Related read: Sreesanth's arrest has hurt fans in Kerala: Tharoor)

The report has also suggested, sources said, that strategic time-outs in IPL games, that allow discussions on playing strategies, and even cheer-leading, introduced for the first time in India for cricket matches in the IPL should be scrapped. Other matters on the agenda include handing the probe against Kundra to a 2-member commission, dropping N Srinivasan from the disciplinary committee and deciding on the post of treasurer.

Srinivasan, who had last week reluctantly "stepped aside" as BCCI president while allegations of betting and spot-fixing in the IPL - including those against his son-in-law Gurunath Meiyappan - are investigated, will not attend today's meeting. It will be chaired by the interim president of the board Jagmohan Dalmiya.

The Delhi Police has claimed that Mr Kundra, an NRI businessman and husband of Bollywood actor Shilpa Shetty, had admitted to placing bets to the tune of Rs 1 crore on IPL matches in the last three years. The revelation, they say, sprung up during a 10-hour-long interrogation of Mr Kundra last week. (Also read: Kundra sends flowers to wife Shilpa, apologises)

It forced the embattled BCCI to call for an urgent meeting of its working committee to discuss the allegations surrounding Mr Kundra. Mr Dalmiya has promised "strict action" if the situation warrants. Sources say the Board might discuss the possibility of suspending Mr Kundra till its own internal probe and police investigations into the scandal are completed. If he gets a clean chit, he could be allowed to return to the IPL fold.

The franchise had on Friday distanced itself from Mr Kundra saying he was a minority shareholder and would forfeit his shares if found guilty. Rules say that the franchise could be terminated if a team-owner "acts in a way that brings the BCCI/IPL/game of cricket into disrepute." Sources said the BCCI will wait for investigations to be completed before considering such a step.

Mr Kundra, who owns 11.7 per cent stake in the Royals along with his wife, Ms Shetty, has claimed innocence, saying he hasn't "committed any wrong". He has also said that he will "unhesitatingly forfeit" his shares in the franchise if he is proved guilty.

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