Punishment, but how much?
The fate of the cricketers implicated in the IPL spot-fixing scandal would be up for discussion when the BCCI’s disciplinary committee meets here in New Delhi on Friday to deliberate on Anti-Corruption Unit chief Ravi Sawani’s report on the scam that shamed the Twenty20 league.
The Sawani panel investigated allegations that three Rajasthan Royals players conceded a predetermined number of runs per over in exchange for money during the IPL this year.
The players, who also served jail time after being arrested by the Delhi Police, are S Sreesanth, Ajit Chandila and Ankeet Chavan. All three played for Rajasthan Royals in the IPL, but their contracts were terminated by the franchise after the scandal broke. Also, they were suspended by the BCCI.
Although it could not be confirmed, it was learnt that Sreesanth and Chandila might get bans. The fate of Chavan hangs in balance and he could get away with a shorter ban. Whether the disciplinary committee announces the punishment on Friday, is something that remains to be seen.
Another source, however, said that the players will be let away with “minor punishments”. “It finally depends on how they defend themselves. But as things stand now, they are expected to be treated leniently. Even if they get punishments, it will not be major,” the source told TNIE.
Sawani’s report will be studied by the disciplinary committee, which comprises BCCI vice-presidents Arun Jaitley and Niranjan Shah.
Sawani, who heads the BCCI’s Anti-Corruption and Security Unit, handed over the report to the board during its working committee meeting in Kolkata last month. After examining the report, the disciplinary committee will present the findings at the BCCI annual general meeting to be held in Chennai on September 29. Sawani had earlier submitted an interim report, which was put on hold by the BCCI as he had not spoken to Chandila, who was in judicial custody till a few days ago. Chandila, who was granted bail on August 6 for two days to perform the last rites of his deceased brother, has denied the charges but is yet to meet Sawani. The other two implicated players have also maintained their innocence after coming out on bail.
The disciplinary committee originally included BCCI president N Srinivasan as well, but he stepped aside after the arrest of his son-in-law and Chennai Super Kings Team Principal Gurunath Meiyappan on charges of betting.
Sreesanth, Chavan and Chandila were arrested on May 16, along with 11 bookies, and were charged under the Indian Penal Code section 420 and 120B, which deal with fraud, cheating and criminal conspiracy.
The scandal led to an overhauling of the guidelines for players and owners in the IPL. The BCCI drew up an action plan called ‘Operation Clean-up’, which envisaged a series of measures to curb corruption in the IPL.
Had No Knowledge of Fixing: Harmeet
Meanwhile, in a reply to the show cause issued to him by BCCI, young spinner Harmeet Singh said that he had no knowledge of fixing by his three RR teammates.