New Delhi: The Delhi police revealed that specific on-field signals made by the three Rajasthan Royals players arrested for spot-fixing in the IPL, proved to be the clincher in establishing their connection to the bookies.
"The modus operandi was, there was an agreement between the bookies and a player that in a certain over they will give away a minimum amount of runs. The bookies also gave the players the directions. That they have to indicate they are ready to give away those runs. You rotate your watch or you put on your towel or you spend some time setting the field", said Delhi Police commissioner Neeraj Kumar.
In a detailed press conference, the Delhi police showed video clippings and read out transcripts of the conversations between the players and the bookies during three IPL matches to corroborate the involvement of the three players- S Sreesanth, Ajit Chandila and Ankeet Chavan in spot-fixing matches in the IPL.
Ajit Chandila was to give away 14 runs during a match between the Pune Warriors and the Rajasthan Royals, on May 5, 2013. But he forgot to give the pre-determined signal, which led to an argument with the bookie, who demanded that Chandila return the 20 lakhs given to accomplish the task.
“I will give the signal. Let the first over go, will do it in the second over. I will lift my T-shirt twice, and look upwards when I start to bowl. In the second spell, he would give away 14 runs”, was what Chandila said to a bookie, Amit, before the game. Only that he forgot to give the signal.
The game between Rajasthan Royals and Kings XI Punjab played on May 9, 2013, seeks to establish Sreesanth’s involvement, and he is seen putting a towel in his trousers, stretching and warming up to indicate that he was ready to execute the plan. It is believed that Jiju Janardhan alias Biju, who played club cricket with Sreesanth, relayed the instructions from the bookies to the player. He was asked to give away 14 or more runs in his second over, but gave away 13. Sreesanth was also asked not to bowl any more in the match, and he didn’t. He received 40 lakhs for keeping his end of the bargain.
"The names of these three players came to light. We waited for the situation when all three of them could be pinned down," Kumar said adding that the game between the Rajasthan Royals and Mumbai Indians on May 15, allowed them to nail the third culprit- Ankeet Chavan. Ajit Chandila was on the bench, but acted as a go-between Chavan and the bookies. The left-arm spinner was asked to give away at least 13 runs, in exchange for 60 lakhs. He gave away 15 runs.
He also confirmed the role of the underworld saying, “We had information that Mumbai underworld is indulging in match-fixing or spot fixing and have contacted a number of bookies and some players. There are overseas connections and there is evidence to prove that the underworld is involved.”
A Delhi police team had arrested Sreesanth and his Rajasthan Royals colleagues Ankeet Chavan and Ajit Chandila for cheating and criminal conspiracy and the 11 bookies, after launching an investigation monitoring the conversations between the bookies and cricketers since April 2013.
"Our team was present in all these matches. Last night our team was camping in Mumbai and soon after the match the decision was taken and three were arrested and so were the 11 bookies from different parts of the country," he said.
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