'Disillusioned' players on Police radar

Police officers say bookies have been relying heavily on players who have failed to make it to the national team as they are ‘gullible’.

New Delhi/Mumbai: More skeletons tumbled out of the tainted IPL closet on Sunday as the probe continues.

Not only has arrested Rajasthan Royals player Ajit Chandila’s role in fixing certain overs in IPL Season 5 been confirmed, it has also been revealed that he was in touch with at least four different sets of bookies.

The revelation came as the Delhi Police arrested three more persons — including former Ranji player Manish Guddewar, who allegedly acted as links between players and bookies.

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“Manish Guddewar, 32, a former Ranji player from Vidarbha, and bookies Sunil Bhatia, 44 and Kiran Dole, 42, were arrested from Aurangabad around 5 am on Sunday,” special commissioner of police S.N. Srivastava said.

Guddewar and Chandila, neighbours in their younger days, used to practice cricket together. Guddewar played Ranji matches between 2003 and 2005 and helped Dole and Bhatia meet Chandila to fix matches.

The arrested trio has been found to have links with Ashwani Aggarwal, a bookie already in the Delhi Police’s custody, and their role in the recent spot- fixing scandal is under the scanner, sources said.

The police are now on the lookout for Baburao Yadav, a Ranji player for Railways.

Though the nature of his role in the spot-fixing remains unclear, officials say he lobbied for bookies with players.

More and more domestic players have come under the police’s scanner since the scandal first broke.

Police officers say bookies have been relying heavily on players who have failed to make it to the national team as they are “gullible”. “When they see their colleagues suddenly becoming cricket sensations and being showered with commercials and cash, there is an evident feeling of resentment and the need to earn more money,” a police officer said.

Special Commissioner Srivastava added: “So far, we have identified four players. It would not be right to say that all domestic players are disillusioned, but yes, the ones we have identified are certainly weak links that the bookies have exploited.”

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