Sreesanth arrested for fixing

2013-05-16 13:30
Shanthakumaran Sreesanth (Gallo)

New Delhi - Indian police said on Thursday they had arrested three cricketers, including Test bowler Shanthakumaran Sreesanth, after they allegedly accepted hundreds of thousands of dollars for spot-fixing.

Eleven bookmakers were also arrested in connection with the inquiry, said Delhi Police Commissioner Neeraj Kumar, as he gave details of three games in the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL) at the centre of the corruption probe.

Kumar told a news conference that more bookmakers were expected to be arrested as part of the inquiry which has already seen the accused players suspended by the Indian cricket authorities.

Sreesanth, who has played 27 Tests for India, is alleged to have been paid four million rupees (about $75 000) to give away 14 or more runs in an over while playing for the Rajasthan Royals against the Kings XI Punjab on May 9.

His team-mate Ankeet Chavan had also allegedly agreed to give away the same number of runs in a match on Wednesday night against the Mumbai Indians in exchange for six million rupees ($110 000), police said.

A third player, Ajit Chandila, was believed to have been paid two million rupees ($36 000), for giving away a set number of runs in a match between the Rajasthan Royals and the Pune Warriors, police said.

"This much money has exchanged hands. This money was given to them by the bookies," Kumar told a press conference in New Delhi.

Sreesanth, 30, and his two teammates were arrested by Delhi police in Mumbai and were then brought to the national capital for questioning, Kumar said.

The players were taken into custody after Wednesday night's match against the Mumbai Indians.

Angry fans burnt posters of the players during a protest in the southern city of Bangalore.

The Rajasthan Royals franchise said in a statement they would co-operate fully with police in the investigation.

"We are completely taken by surprise... we will fully co-operate with the authorities to ensure a thorough investigation," it said.

"The management at Rajasthan Royals has a zero-tolerance approach to anything that is against the spirit of the game," the statement added.

Sreesanth, whose last Test match was against England two years ago, is no stranger to controversy, and was famously slapped by his team-mate Harbhajan Singh during an IPL match in 2008.

Sreesanth has also played 53 one-day internationals.

Sports Minister Jitendra Singh described the arrests as "unfortunate" and called on the authorities to take strict action against the players if they are found guilty.

A mechanism must be put in place "to prevent such unethical activities and ensure clean sports in the country", he said.

Spot-fixing is an illegal activity where a specific part of a game, but not the outcome, is fixed.

It hit the headlines in 2011 when three Pakistani players were banned after being found guilty of contriving no-balls in return for money in a 2010 Test in England.

Former captain Salman Butt got a 10-year ban, with five years suspended, and Mohammad Asif was barred for seven years, with two suspended. Mohammad Aamer was banned for five years -- the minimum punishment under the International Cricket Council code.

All three, along with their agent Mazhar Majeed, were also jailed by an English court in 2011 for spot-fixing. The three players were released last year.

Read more on:    india  |  shanthakumaran sreesanth  |  cricket

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