Cricket-lovers in the country were shcoked when C M Gautam, a first-class player in Karnataka who turned up for three IPL teams, and his former teammate Abrar Qazi were arrested for allegedly accepting money to spot-fi x in the scandal-ridden Karnataka Premier League (KPL). Bellary Tuskers captain Gautam, a former wicketkeeper-batsman, and his teammate Qazi were allegedly involved in fixing in the last two seasons of KPL.
Interestingly both Gautam, who plays for Goa now, and Kazi, who represents Mizoram, had been named in their respective state squads for the upcoming Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy tournament, scheduled to begin today. Police said the two were involved in fixing in the KPL 2019 fi nals between Bellary Tuskers and Hubli Tigers after accepting Rs 20 lakh each for slow batting. Hubli Tigers won that match by eight runs. Remember the 2013 Indian Premier League saw spot-fi xing and betting allegations when the Delhi Police arrested three cricketers, Sreesanth, Ajit Chandila and Ankeet Chavan, on the charges of alleged spot-fixing. The three represented the Rajasthan Royals in the 2013 IPL edition.
In a separate case, Mumbai Police arrested Vindu Dara Singh and Chennai Super Kings Team Principal Gurunath Meiyappan for alleged betting and having links with bookies. In July 2015, Sreesanth, Chandila and Chavan were cleared of all the charges after they were found not guilty by the Patiala House Courts However, in January 2016, Chandila was given a life ban from all forms of cricket by the BCCI. In March 2019, the Supreme Court lifted the life ban imposed by BCCI on Sreesanth. It is time that authorities act tough and make sure that such instances are avoided in future. Cricket is followed by millions across the country and there is a need to maintain sanctity in the sport.