Royals to slap charges against players, BCCI sets up probe panel (Roundup)

Chennai, May 19 (IANS) Rajasthan Royals will file a police complaint against its three players arrested for spot fixing while the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) set up a panel to probe the scandal, board president N. Srinivasan announced here Sunday.

At its emergency working committee meeting convened here in the wake of the spot fixing scandal, the BCCI also decided that agents of all players will now need to be accredited with the board while a BCCI Anti-Corruption and Security Unit (ACSU) official, along with a security officer, will be assigned to each Indian Premier League (IPL) team for its regulation.

S. Sreesanth, Ajit Chandila and Ankeet Chavan, all playing for the Rajasthan Royals, were arrested in Mumbai late Wednesday night by Delhi Police for alleged spot fixing.

“We invited the Rajasthan Royals management (to the meeting). We were informed by the management that they intend to file a police complaint against the players,” Srinivasan said. The franchise was represented by co-owner Manoj Badale.

The three players, now suspended by the BCCI, have been charged under section 420 (cheating) and 120B (criminal conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC). Fifteen people have been arrested since the controversy broke out. They include three bookies – Sunil Bhatia, Kiran Dole and Manish Gudewa – arrested from Aurangabad Sunday.

Among those attending the BCCI meeting were Ravi Shastri (IPL technical committee representative) and board secretary Sanjay Jagdale while IPL chairman Rajeev Shukla, IPL governing council member Arun Jaitley and BCCI technical committee head Anil Kumble joined through video-conference.

As for the inquiry, Srinivasan said that BCCI ACSU’s chief Ravi Sawani has been appointed commissioner of the probe panel.

“Ravi Sawani has been appointed the commissioner to inquire into allegations against these players. His report will be submitted to the BCCI disciplinary committee in quick time. We won’t hesitate to act ruthlessly if the players are found guilty.”

The board president added: “The committee also decided that all player agents have to be accredited with the BCCI. An ACSU official will travel with the team along with a security officer. Access to players will be monitored closely.”

When asked at the press conference, held after the meeting, regarding the growing corruption, the BCCI chief conceded that the board was handicapped in these matters with limited resources.

“The anti-corruption units of the ICC (International Cricket Council) and BCCI have got certain limitations. They cannot gather information like police can. They can’t tap phones. They have got a lot of restrictions. We must look at how individuals have made a mistake. We cannot control every bookie in the town,” he said.

He also thanked the fans for turning up at stadia in large numbers despite the controversy.

“For the last three-four days, there have been BCCI bashing and IPL bashing has taken place as if the whole world has fallen down. Only three players have allegedly done something. It doesn’t mean the whole IPL is bad. We are very grateful to the public that has sold out grounds despite the news.”

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