The BCCI anti-corruption unit (ACU) has said that it has received two reports of attempted match fixing in 2019. The first report has come from a member of India’s women’s cricket team while the second has come from the Tamil Nadu Premier League (TNPL).
Match Fixing Attempt In Bengaluru
A man named Jitendra Kothari who claimed he was a sports manager for some of the top women cricketers in the world approached a member of the women’s cricket team who was being put through recovery sessions at the National Cricket Academy in Bengaluru. After speaking to her, he introduced her to Rakesh Bafna who was the one who approached her with a match fixing proposal.
Bafna wanted the player to follow a script he would give her during the ODI games against England in February. The player also recorded a phone conversation regarding the proposal to fix these games and submitted the same to the BCCI.
The ACU has filed a first information report with the Bengaluru police and have also launched their own investigation. Former DG of Rajasthan, Ajit Singh Shekhawat who is the head of the ACU said that this recent incident shows that women’s cricket is no longer protected from match fixing attempts as any televised sport is now an opportunity for match fixers to get involved.
TNPL Reports Multiple Approaches
The Tamil Nadu Cricket Association (TNCA) launched the TNPL in 2016 and for the first three editions had its own anti-corruption unit. The BCCI ACU took over the anti-corruption department in 2019 and has now reported more than 7 players being approached to fix matches.
The TNPL is a high profile domestic tournament in India which is broadcasted by Star India who is the biggest cricket broadcaster in the world. A number of top cricketers who have played or play for India take part in the TNPL. Some of them include D Karthik, M Vijay, R Ashwin, Vijay Shankar and W Sundar. The TNPL has also been promoted by big names in the cricketing world which include Chennai Super Kings captain MS Dhoni and Shane Watson as well as former CSK members like M Hussey and M Hayden.
The ACU has launched an investigation into the matter and has clarified that neither the approached players nor the 8 team owners will be investigated. Shekhawat did not reveal if any of the approached cricketers were faces in the Indian cricket team!