Sreesanth banned for life

2013-09-13 14:00
Shanthakumaran Sreesanth (Gallo Images)

Mumbai - Test fast bowler Shanthakumaran Sreesanth has been banned from cricket for life after being found guilty of spot-fixing during the Indian Premier League, authorities said on Friday.

Ankeet Chavan, a teammate of Sreesanth's in the Rajasthan Royals team, was also handed a life ban following a probe by the Board of Control for Cricket in India's (BCCI) anti-corruption chief Ravi Sawani.

"Sreesanth and Chavan have been banned for life from playing any representative cricket, or in any way being associated with the activities of the BCCI or its affiliates," the board said in a statement.

The BCCI's three-member disciplinary committee, taking action on Sawani's report, handed a five-year suspension to Amit Singh, who played in the IPL till last year, for his involvement in spot-fixing.

Rajasthan Royals' Siddharth Trivedi was suspended for one year after being found guilty of the lesser charge of not informing officials about approaches made by bookmakers.

The case against Harmeet Singh, a 21-year-old spinner, who had also been suspected of hiding a bookmaker's approach, was "closed in the absence of evidence against him", the BCCI statement said.

The BCCI did not announce any action against another Rajasthan Royals player, Ajit Chandila, who was also accused of spot-fixing by the anti-corruption officer.

The BCCI have not released Sawani's report but the Indian Express newspaper said that Sreesanth, Chandila and Chavan were found guilty on multiple accounts, including conceding a "pre-determined number of runs per over in exchange for bribes".

Sreesanth, Chandila, Chavan and Singh are among 39 people who have also been charged separately in court by Delhi Police in the corruption scandal that rocked this year's IPL.

Sreesanth, 30, is the only one to have played for India, having taken part in 27 Tests, 53 one-day internationals and 10 Twenty20 matches. He was a member of India's victorious teams in the World Twenty20 in 2007 and the World Cup in 2011.

The Indian Express quoted Sawani as saying in his report that he hoped the BCCI will "impose such sanctions as considered appropriate to send out a strong signal indicating the zero tolerance policy of the BCCI to any corruption in the sport."

"Obviously, the anti-corruption education given to the players had no impact on the conduct. Therefore, the players deserve no leniency whatsoever," he said in his report.

The players were arrested in May along with scores of bookies as part of a police investigation into the spot-fixing scandal, which had caused outrage among fans in the cricket-mad nation.

BCCI chief Narayanaswami Srinivasan had voluntarily stepped aside from his post in June after his son-in-law was arrested, and later released on bail, over alleged links to illegal bookmakers.

Son-in-law Gurunath Meiyappan is one of the owners of IPL franchise Chennai Super Kings, a team bought by Srinivasan's India Cements conglomerate when the popular Twenty20 league was launched in 2008.

Gambling is mostly illegal in India, but betting on cricket matches thrives through networks of underground bookies.

Spot-fixing -- in which a specific part of a game, but not the result, is fixed -- is also illegal.

Read more on:    shanthakumaran sreesanth  |  cricket

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