BCCI suspends 5 cricketers after TV sting exposes spot-fixing, graft

Shalabh Srivastava, TP Sudhindra, Amit Yadav, Mohnish Mishra and Abhinav Bali are the players affected by BCCI's decision.

Shalabh has denied any wrong-doing.

The five uncapped cricketers exposed in India TV's sting operation were suspended from all forms cricket by the IPL governing council on Tuesday.

The council has asked Ravi Sawani - head of the ICC's new anti-corruption unit - to conduct an inquiry and submit a report within 15 days, following which "proper action" will be taken. The players suspended are Abhinav Bali, TP Sudhindra (Deccan Chargers), Mohnish Mishra (Pune Warriors), Amit Yadav (Kings XI Punjab) and Shalabh Shrivastava (Kings XI Punjab).

Responding to the expose, BCCI president N Srinivasan was at pains to assure that everything possible would be done to locate and excise all malpractices.

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"We will ensure that the integrity of the game is protected. BCCI believes in the integrity of the game. We will take the strictest possible action. We will have to have the tapes and the moment we see it, whoever is the player, we will take very, very strict action," he said.

Speaking to reporters, IPL Chairman Rajiv Shukla said, "The IPL governing council met via teleconference on Tuesday afternoon and recommended to the BCCI president strict action against those found guilty and found suspicious on the television footage shown on India TV."

"Since it also involved matter relating to other matches and previous IPL(s), it was referred to the president. The president after due consideration has decided to have a preliminary inquiry for which a commissioner has been appointed. Ravi Sawani, who was the ICC ACSU chief and now advisor will conduct the inquiry and he will submit a report to the Disciplinary Committee."

"Pending inquiry the five players have been suspended from all cricket activities with immediate effect. We will await the report of the preliminary inquiry and proper action will be taken only after that," Shukla added.

On Monday, India TV had claimed to have exposed "murky deals" in the IPL and Indian domestic cricket. These nefarious practices included spot-fixing, and murkiness in player payments and transfers to other franchises. 

The channel showed some of the suspended cricketers admitting on hidden camera that they were paid much more than what was the prescribed limit for that category of players.

The channel had also claimed that spot-fixing was prevalent, not only in low-profile domestic fixtures but also in IPL matches, with women ('honey traps') playing an important part in luring players.

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