The sixth edition of the Indian Premier League is in its final legs, yet all the intriguing action is taking place off the field, making the matches, which were supposed to be of much significance, merely routine games. Such has been the explosive details that have emerged in relation to the spot-fixing scandal in the past week. Ever since the arrest of three cricketers for their alleged involvement in spot-fixing things have got murkier and murkier by the day. As the drama continues to unfold, we bring you a timeline of the controversy thus far.
May 16: Tainted trio arrested
India woke up to the shocking news of three Rajasthan Royals players arrested for their alleged role in spot-fixing. The three names were S. Sreesanth, Ajit Chandila and Ankeet Chavan. The involvement of Sreesanth was most outraging since he had represented India at the highest level. Apart from the trio of players, the Delhi Police also arrested 11 bookies. Sreesanth apparently agreed to bowl an expensive in the May 9 clash against Kings XI Punjab. The other two mentioned cricketers had also agreed to act at the behest of bookies, in return for lakhs. BCCI suspended the tainted trio
May 17: Ex-RR player who turned bookie
It is learnt that Amit Singh, one of the bookies arrested a day earlier had actually played for Rajasthan Royals in the earlier seasons. Meanwhile, Sreesanth’s lawyer claimed that the cricketer maintains he is innocent. Sreesanth’s mother also said his son is being trapped. BCCI chief N Srinivasan stated ‘guilty will be punished’. More bookies arrested, this time from Chennai.
May 18: Disgraced Sree dropped from ad
The Kerala government pulled out the lottery advertisement which featured the fast bowler. Delhi Police went to Chandila’s house while Mumbai Police visit hotel room where Sreesanth was put up
May 19: RR decides to take strict action
Rajasthan Royals decided they would file an FIR against the three arrested players for cheating the public and the franchise. A former Ranji player named Manish Budewa arrested.
May 20: RR suspends contracts
Royals suspended the contracts of Sreesanth, Chandila and Chavan. They also filed FIR against the trio for violation of contract. An amount of Rs. 20 lakh was recovered from the house of a relative of Chandila in Haryana. All three arrested cricketers were sent to five-day police custody.
May 21: Bollywood link exposed; Sree claims innocence
Small-time actor and son of late wrestler Dara Singh, Vindu Dara Singh was arrested for his alleged links with bookies. It is learnt that Sreesanth purchased items worth Rs.1.95 lakh in a single day from a Mumbai store. He also gifted his girlfriend a highly expensive Blackberry phone. Even amidst all this, Sreesanth maintained his ‘innocent’ stand.
May 22: BCCI comes into the picture
In the most striking instance of insider involvement in the betting racket, Vindu mentioned the name of BCCI President N. Srinivasan’s son-in-law, Gurunath Meiyappan, with whom, the actor claimed, he was in ‘frequent touch’. Meanwhile, Vindu admitted that he helped a couple of bookies escape to Dubai.
Surely, we haven’t heard the last of this…
--By A Cricket Analyst