MUMBAI - A Sri Lankan player was paid Rs 100 million for fixing an IPL match, a bookie named Sonu Yogendra Jalan alias Malad has told Mumbai police, the Times of India reported today.
In his statement, Sonu has claimed that some Indian cricketers were involved in match-fixing, says the TOI report.
Sonu along with Devendra Kothari alias Bhaiyyaji, were arrested by the Mumbai police on Thursday. They are believed to be a part of a bigger international betting racket, says the report. The report also said, the betting network run by Kothari and Sonu Jalan is controlled by Choota Shakeel’s Pakistan-based gang of punters.
The Mumbai Police Crime Branch had on Thursday arrested Sonu Jalan and Devendra Kothari along with four others as part of a major cricket betting racket in Kandivali.
Crime Branch officials said, they raided a betting den in Kandivali on Thursday and seized 22 mobile phones, two laptops, two voice recorders, eight speakers and LCD TVs. “The accused were accepting bets on Indian Premier League matches,” said a Crime Branch officer.
Sonu had escaped during a raid on two flats in Lokhandwala in October 2011. Besides Jalan, Suresh Nagri, alias Junior Kolkata, allegedly one of the most notorious bookies in the country, had escaped with five others. The police had then arrested eight alleged bookies, and seized Rs 1.02 crore and 123 mobile phones.
The six accused arrested in an alleged betting racket in Kandivali were placing bets on a UK-based website, officials probing into the case said on Friday. The police had asked authorities to block the website a year ago, they added.
All the bookies including Jalan and Kothari are presently on police remand till May 25. Crime Branch officers said the bookies were operating an account on the popular website, www.betfair.com, and were making use of its betting assessment software to manage their operations.
“Someone in the UK had opened an account on betfair.com, and given the password to the arrested men, who used it to access the website and place bets on IPL matches. “When the raid was conducted, bets were being placed on a ball-to-ball basis, over-to-over basis, and on runs made by batsmen or conceded by bowlers,” a Crime Branch officer said.
“We had written to the Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT) in New Delhi around a year ago to block the website in India,” the officer said. Meanwhile, on Friday, a demand was made in the Lok Sabha for a high level probe into the affairs of the tournament, with former cricketer and BJP MP Kirti Azad saying that (IPL) had reduced cricket to "dance and drama".
"It (IPL) should be closed... I am sitting on a fast at Ferozshah Kotla from May 20. The IPL, I suppose, is only entertainment... But we have money laundering, violation of foreign exchange, one player slapping another and a sting operation on spot- fixing. Only rape was left... that has also come in now," he said in a characteristically hard-hitting comment during Zero Hour.
Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) chief Lalu Prasad Yadav concurred: "IPL should be closed." Janata Party president Subramanian Swamy had a similar refrain: "I demand that the government ban the IPL tournament forthwith since game's collateral consequences are a degeneration of a civilised game of cricket into a vulgar display of money and immorality, all converting into a serious national security threat."
But denying the charge that IPL was full of scandals, Union Minister and IPL chairman Rajiv Shukla countered: "IPL 5 was free of controversies till recently." A regards the Pomersbach case, he told the media later: "There have been no official parties in IPL 4 and 5. So the incident was not connected with an official IPL party. It was an individual misbehaviour of an individual player."
Matters had taken an ugly turn after the Delhi Daredevils versus RCB match at the Kotla on Thursday. High on Chris Gayle's power-hitting, the match's unofficial after party had moved around the Capital, before reaching the ITC Maurya's Dublin club around 2 am on Friday.