In a sensational development, Indian paceman S Sreesanth and two of his Rajasthan Royals teammates Ajit Chandila and Ankeet Chavan were arrested by the Delhi police on the charges of spot fixing in the ongoing Indian Premier League.
The special cell of the Delhi police arrested Sreesanth from his friend’s place in Mumbai while the other two cricketers were arrested last night from the team hotel at Nariman Point for their alleged role in spot fixing.
The arrest took place immediately after the players returned to their team hotel, following their match against Mumbai Indians at Wankhede stadium. The hosts won by 14 runs.
The cricketers and bookies have been charged under sections 420 (cheating) and 120B (criminal conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code and are being flown in to Delhi for further questioning.
The players are likely to be suspended from the IPL and an official the BCCI will make a formal announcement soon. The matter will be referred to the Disciplinary Committee of the BCCI headed by Arun Jaitley.
Asked whether any more players are involved in spot fixing, Delhi Police Commissioner Neeraj Kumar told PTI through a text message, “not that we know of.”
Investigators said besides telephone records, they also have evidences of messages passed through BBM and Whatapp.
The Delhi police source said that these players were under the scanner for their role in spot fixing in some of the earlier IPL match although they did not elaborate which matches were under scrutiny.
The police have also arrested seven bookies in Mumbai and three bookies in Delhi in connection with the same case. They are looking for two more bookies in Delhi.
The development comes as a shock for the IPL authorities who have time and again grappled with controversies and scandals ever since the league was launched in 2008.
IPL Chairman Rajiv Shukla said he was awaiting details on the incident.
Rajasthan Royals CEO Raghu Iyer said that the three players were picked up by Delhi police last night and the team management was co-operating with the investigation.
“Rajasthan Royals has zero tolerance for corruption and we will take action, if charges are proved,” he said.
Rajasthan Royals also issued a statement in which they said that they are shocked by the development.
“We have been informed that three of our players have been called in for investigation on spot fixing in matches. We are completely taken by surprise. We do not have the full facts at this point and are unable to confirm anything.
“We are in touch with the BCCI on this matter. We will fully cooperate with the authorities to ensure a thorough investigation. The management at Rajasthan Royals has a zero-tolerance approach to anything that is against the spirit of the game,” the statement said.