BCCI bans Sudhindra for life, Srivastava for 5 years

Mumbai, June 30 (IANS) The Indian cricket board Saturday came down hard on five domestic cricketers for bringing the game into disrepute, banning T. P. Sudhindra for life, Shalabh Srivastava for five years and Abhinav Bali, Mohnish Mishra and Amith Yadav for one year.

The disciplinary committee of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), headed by its president Narayanswamy Srinivasan, at its meeting here found fast bowlers Sudhindra (Madhya Pradesh) and Srivastava (Uttar Pradesh), batsmen Mishra (MP) and Bali (Himachal Pradesh), besides all-rounder Yadav (Goa), guilty of various offences.

The disciplinary committee, which had Arun Jaitley and Niranjan Shah as other members, took the action after considering the report of one-man panel of its anti-corruption chief Ravi Sawani, set up in the wake of a sting operation by a TV channel which last month alleged rampant spot-fixing on the domestic circuit.

"The disciplinary committee perused the report of Ravi Sawani and accorded a personal hearing to Sudhindra, Bali and Mishra. Srivastava and Yadav pleaded their cases through a teleconference. After considering Sawani's report and the pleadings by the players, the committee decided the penalties," said BCCI secretary Sanjay Jagdale in a statement.

While Sudhindra and Srivastava were charged of spot-fixing, three others were penalised for "loose talk and unsubstantiated bragging."

"The committee held Sudhindra guilty of receiving a consideration to spot-fix in a local domestic cricket match, and hence imposed exemplary penalty on him. He has been barred for life from playing any form of domestic and international cricket," said the board's official release.

A similar punishment was imposed on Srivastava for five years. "Srivastava was held guilty of agreeing to fix a match and negotiate terms for the same, even though no actual match-fixing or spot fixing took place," the release said.

The statement added the penalties will be effective from the date of the suspension of the players - May 15.

The India TV sting operation aired during the Indian Premier League (IPL) last month stunned the cricketing world. It showed players discussing spot-fixing with the undercover reporters and negotiating underhand financial contracts from the IPL franchises.

The footage showed Sudhindra bowling a blatant no-ball during a local league game in Indore while Srivastava was caught on tape claiming franchises lure players promising through underhand deals to pay more than the the stipulated cap of Rs.30 lakhs for an uncapped IPL player.

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