Pune Warriors cricketer Mohnish Mishra, who was suspended by the Indian cricket board pending inquiry, on Tuesday accepted the statements he made during the sting operation conducted by a TV channel and said he did it casually "to develop his value".
Pune Warriors also suspended Mishra with immediate effect after he and four others were suspended by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on charges of spot-fixing.
"We strongly condemn his irresponsible conduct, and are suspending him with immediate effect till further investigation happens. He will not take any further part in the IPL," Pune Warriors owner Sushanto Roy said in a release. (Related: Top-10 developments)
"We appreciate the stand taken by the BCCI, and welcome the step of suspending Mohnish Mishra," Roy added.
The frannchise also released a letter written by Mishra, in which the cricketer accepted that the statements made by him on camera were in fact made, though casually.
"I sincerely apologise for the embarrassment caused to Sahara due to such frivolous and incorrect statements. I have not received any amount in cash from Sahara," the player said. (Read BCCI's decision here)
Sahara said Mishra made the comments "to develop his value or maybe he wanted to be pompous in front of others during the course of discussion", and that he has not received any amount in cash from Sahara.
"He has apologised for his frivolous and incorrect statements," the release said. (Click here for BCCI's official statement)
Roy categorically denied that Pune Warriors had paid money in cash to any player "over and above the maximum amount permissible by BCCI for any such player".
"We once again reiterate that Sahara has never paid any amount in cash or otherwise to Mohnish Mishra or any other player, over and above the maximum amount permissible by BCCI for any such player and neither do we believe in this practise of giving black money," said Roy.
Besides Mishra, the other players caught in the sting operation are T.P. Sudhindra (Madhya Pradesh-Deccan Chargers), Amit Yadav (Goa-Kings XI Punjab), Shalabh Shrivastava (Uttar Pradesh-Kings XI Punjab) and Abhinav Bali (Himachal Pradesh).
They were suspended by the BCCI in the wake of a sting operation by a news channel which claimed corruption in domestic cricket, including the lucrative IPL.