Karnataka State Cricket Association prepared to impose life ban on offenders

Things turned worse on Thursday morning, with the arrests of former Karnataka players CM Gautam and Abrar Kazi.

Published: 08th November 2019 10:57 AM  |   Last Updated: 08th November 2019 12:29 PM   |  A+A-

Karnataka Premier League cricketers CM Gautam and Abrar Kazi

Karnataka Premier League cricketers CM Gautam and Abrar Kazi (Photo | EPS and PTI)

Express News Service

BENGALURU: It has just been over a month since the newly elected office-bearers of Karnataka State Cricket Association (KSCA) assumed their roles. But with the Karnataka Premier League (KPL) being embroiled in corruption scandal even more of late, it has not been smooth sailing.

Things turned worse on Thursday morning, with the arrests of former Karnataka players CM Gautam and Abrar Kazi. As a result, the office-bearers had a meeting during the evening. They decided to suspend all those arrested so far — Gautam, Kazi, Vinu Prasad, M Vishwanathan and Nishant Singh Shekhawat — from all forms of the game till the completion of police inquiry.

ALSO READ: More names might come up: ACU chief on KPL spot-fixing scandal

Belagavi Panthers owner Ali Asfak Thara was suspended in early October. KSCA will take a call depending on the inquiry, and a top official said that “life ban is possible as well”.

“It is very unfortunate that such big players like Gautam and Kazi have been involved,” the official added. “The entire KSCA fraternity is disappointed. I do not think any player should get involved in such kind of cases. We will cooperate with the police in all these matters.”

ALSO READ: KSCA suspends Belagavi Panthers over KPL match-fixing scandal

Gautam is a domestic veteran, having played 94 first-class matches. He has also been a part of IPL franchises Delhi Daredevils, Mumbai Indians and Royal Challengers Bangalore. Kazi has played 17 first-class matches, and also turned out once for RCB.Both play for Ballari Tuskers in KPL.  

“I was absolutely stunned when I learned about it in the morning,” said a support-staff member of a KPL franchise. “I am still recovering from it. Not even in my wildest dream did I feel that Kazi and Gautam would be doing these acts. I am in a state of daze. I have not been able to work and concentrate on anything after I heard this. I cannot even comprehend as to why this is  happening in the league, or with such players.”  

ALSO READ: Former Karnataka Ranji players CM Gautam, Abrar Kazi arrested in KPL spot-fixing scandal

People who know Gautam closely also expressed shock over his involvement. For one Belagavi Panthers player, these arrests have been a wake-up call. “It was someone else who informed me about them being involved. I did not believe it initially, but I was shocked to see that it was true when I saw it on the news and social media.“Also, I do not know how bookies get in touch with players, that too with such big names. It is very big lesson for us, not to mingle with people whom you do not know. Players have to be careful.”

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