More heads will roll, reputations will be tarnished, senior cricketers could be interrogated and many more associated with the game will be arrested as the IPL spot-fixing scam threatens to escalate into an explosive controversy. It’s not just cricket. It’s a nefarious arena of corrupt players, starlets and sleaze, Bollywood glamour, dirty money, mafia dons, greedy bookies and bet-crazy punters that forms the backdrop of the scandal.
As police across India cast their nets wide, the odds of more teams, players and matches being dragged into the dirt are increasing — including Kolkata Knight Riders, Royal Challengers, Mumbai Indians and Kings XI Punjab.
If sources are to be believed, Hyderabad Sunrisers and Chennai Superkings have reasons to worry too. So far, 15 matches have been identified in this IPL season as having been fixed. This may turn the spotlight on many prominent sports figures involved even in a non-playing capacity.
Going by the cell phone records of Rajasthan Royals spinner Ajit Chandila, an entire match between RR and KKR in IPL 5 was fixed. Delhi Special Cell sources say Chandila was the conduit between punters and other players to fix spots in both IPL and T20 matches, and that he had referred two other gullible players to the bookies. It is unclear whether they had obliged.
Arrested Mumbai cricketer Ankeet Chavan told interrogators that two more Rajasthan Royals players, both batsmen, were approached by bookies. While one of them is reportedly an Indian, the other is an international player. An official said the initial probe case revealed wannabe actresses, models and expensive gifts sent by bookies sponsored by the Dawood Ibrahim gang and betting syndicates to earn the confidence of players.