Indian cricket has been severely tarnished over the last decade with match fixing and spot fixing allegations in both the international and domestic arena. The domestic Karnataka Premier League (KPL) which is a BCCI sanctioned state T20 tournament is now under the scanner after state police arrested two players over spot fixing during the 2019 KPL Final.
Karnataka Premier League
The KPL launched back in 2009 with the blessings of the BCCI and followed a similar format as the popular IPL. The KPL was launched by former cricketer Brijesh Patel who was the Karnataka State Cricket Association (KSCA) secretary. Patel was recently elected as the chairman of the IPL.
The KPL had 8 franchise teams, with 7 of them consisting of players who played for Karnataka. The eighth franchise brought the glitz and glamour to the league as it consisted of actors, models and celebrities from the Karnataka film association. The cost of an average KPL franchise ran between 3.5 crores to 4 crores while the top franchises were nearly double the cost.
The KPL has had some of the top state players like KL Rahul, Stuart Binny and R Uthappa take part over the years and received coverage by Star India.
When Anil Kumble was in charge of the KSCA, he was not happy with the KPL model and decided to suspend the league for three years. When Kumble resigned and Brijesh Patel came back as secretary he relaunched the league.
KPL 2019 Final Fixed
The KPL 2019 season was the first time that the state T20 tournament came under the cover of the BCCI’s anti-corruption unit (ACU). It did not take long for the ACU and the Karnataka Police to find suspicious activity. The ACU claims that it sent out a message to the KSCA informing them that some of the KPL games could be compromised.
It turns out they were right as Karnataka Police recently arrested a number of individuals involved in match fixing at the KPL. Two state players in CM Gautam and Abrar Kazi have been arrested. Gautam captained the Bellary Tuskers and is reported to have instructed Kazi to follow his instructions and play slow during the KPL final. The duo were paid a total of 20 lakhs.
Reports suggest that they have also fixed other matches including the game against the Benagluru Blasters. The ACU has launched its own internal investigation into the matter and will share information with the Karnataka Police to see how far this corruption runs.