The Board of Control for Cricket in India has announced the suspensions and lifetime bans of several cricketers in the Indian Premier League. Right-arm fast-medium-pace bowler Shanthakumaran Sreesanth was the most notable of the bunch and will no longer be allowed to play any representative cricket or have any associations to the BCCI or its affiliates, according to board members.
In early May, Sreesanth, teammates Ajit Chandila and Ankeet Chavan were arrested on charges of spot-fixing during IPL-6 (the sixth season of the league). While the league investigated the scandal, all three players were stripped of their contracts from the Rajasthan Royals — and Sreesanth soon thereafter admitted he was guilty of accepting money for agreeing to give up a specific amount of runs in several of his club matches.
Chavan and Sreesanth are both banned for life while Chandila still awaits his fate. Two others, Amit Singh and Siddharth Trivedi, got slapped with a much lighter (in comparison) penalty. Singh received a five-year ban while Trivedi will miss just one season. Singh and Trivedi were only connected with accepting money, dealing with bookies and failing to report to the BCCI ACU the knowledge of other players being approached by a bookie; they were not penalized for underperforming for a reward like Sreesanth, Chandila and Chavan.
Firstpost.com broke down each player’s involvement after Ravi Sawani, the Anti-Corruption Unit chief of cricket board’s disciplinary committee completed his four-month long investigation:
Sawani’s comments on Sreesanth:
According to Sreesanth, the only reason he admitted certain wrongdoings before Delhi Police and signed some confessional statements was to make the police officials happy and get out. He further told Sawani that the confessions were a result of continuous torture and interrogation.
However Delhi police officials told Sawani, “When Jiju told Sreesanth that he had already told the police everything and that there was no point hiding facts any further, both cried and hugged each other before Sreesanth also admitted to being part of the fix.”
Sawani’s takeaway: “I am fully convinced that Sreesanth was part of the fix and, therefore, I confirm my earlier findings of holding S Sreesanth guilty of the offences listed in my initial report.”
Sawani on Singh:
According to Amit Singh, Chandila never fixed anything during a match and was simply out to make a quick buck. He was instead fooling the bookies by simply accepting money from them. Chandila even called up Amit Singh and complained that the bookies were harassing him with repeated calls.
But Amit appears to be “the bad fish that spoils the entire pond” as he got players in touch with the fixers. He gave out the numbers of the players and even made personal introductions.
Sawani’s takeway: “He deserves no sympathy and I hold him guilty of all offences listed against him.”
Sawani on Trivedi:
He took money from Chandila for meeting bookies and allowed Chandila and Amit Singh to buy him gifts — but said that he only took the money but never agreed to fix. Trivedi said that he gave back Rs 2.5 lakh to Chandila and Rs 1 lakh to Amit Singh. Sawani has mentioned that Trivedi is “30 years old and fully capable of comprehending why people were buying him gifts and gifting enormous sums of money.”
Sawani’s takeway: “The fact remains that Trivedi failed to report the receipt, clearly knowing the people and the purpose.”
With the fallout now set in stone, the Royals could be without up to a half-dozen players — some for one year, and some for life. So what does this mean for the club going forward? Feel free to weigh in below in the comments section.