ICC drops tainted Rauf; police summons CSK chief

[SPOT-FIXING ROUND-UP]: Meiyappan finally surfaces | Rauf dropped from ICC event


Pakistani umpire Asad Rauf has been withdrawn from the ICC Champions Trophy (to be played in England in June) following reports that he was under investigation by the Mumbai police in the on-going clampdown on spot-fixing.

ICC Chief Executive David Richardson said in a statement: “In the wake of reports that the Mumbai Police are conducting an investigation into Asad Rauf’s activities, we feel that it is in Asad’s best interests as well as those of the sport and the event itself, that he is withdrawn from participating in the ICC Champions Trophy.”

Asad Rauf is the first umpire to be implicated in the spot-fixing scandal in India. Seven current and past cricketers and numerous bookies have been rounded up so far by the Delhi and Mumbai police.

Police sources have said that Rauf had been in contact with some bookies and Vindoo Dara Singh.

'BCCI WILL HELP POLICE'

BCCI's Chief Administrative Officer Ratnakar Shetty met Mumbai Joint CP Himanshu Roy to discuss IPL spot-fixing issue. "We will help Mumbai Police with the inquiry," Shetty said.

Gurunath Meiyappan. (Getty Images)

Mumbai Police on Thursday has issued summons to the Chennai Super Kings team principal Gurunath Meiyappan to make himself present for questioning in the ongoing investigation against corruption in cricket.

Meiyappan, who was no where to be found through Thursday, has contacted the Mumbai Police via fax late in the evening asking for time while assuring he will make himself present before the crime branch on Monday.

Meanwhile, the Enforcement Directorate has started to probe the possibility of money laundering in the IPL spot-fixing case.

Meiyappan was earlier asked by the Mumbai police to appear before the crime branch between 11 AM and 5 pm on Friday in Mumbai.

A Mumbai Police team was in Chennai on Thursday to question Meiyappan, also the the son-in-law of BCCI chief and Chennai Super Kings owner N Srinivasan. There was drama this noon when a clutch of media persons gathered outside the Meiyappan residence and the gates were not opened to let in the policemen who were there to meet Meiyappan.

A red flag was seen atop Meiyappan's bungalow, which neighbours say is put up whenever the CSK team official is not at his residence.

CNN-IBN quotes sources as saying that apart from Meiyappan, other functionaries in the Chennai franchise may also be quizzed.

Meiyappan has been in the spotlight as arrested Bollywood actor Vindoo Dara Singh has allegedly said he had placed bets on Meiyappan's behalf in the IPL. Vindoo has also allegedly told the police that he not only placed bets but also facilitated others in Bollywood in placing bets with bookies he knew.

"The more than 100 phone calls and text messages exchanged were all during Chennai's IPL matches. Vindoo claims he met a number of Chennai Super King players through Meiyappan," said a crime branch official.

Times Now has reported that Mumbai Police have specifically been asked to check the content of Meiyappan's mobile phone as they want to check if he had divulged any team strategy to Vindoo.

Vindoo had also claimed to the police that he had gone to watch a T20 league match in Chennai on an invitation from Meiyappan. During that match last month, Vindoo was seen seated next to the wife of CSK captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Sakshi. A senior crime branch officer however said they had no plans to question Sakshi.

CHANDILA GOT RS.12 LAKH FOR SPOT-FIXING IN 2012

"Ajit Chandila received the money from arrested bookie Sunil Bhatia for spot-fixing in last year's matches," said a police official after custodial questioning of the two accused.

POLICE CRACKDOWN

With a pan-India crackdown on betting rackets, Delhi bookies have suffered a whopping loss of Rs.35,000 crore as most of them have either wind up their business or have gone underground after the spot-fixing in IPL. The business was worth Rs.50,000 crore at the start of the IPL, but within a week, with the arrest of three Rajasthan Royals cricketers, it has been reduced to Rs.15,000 crore, Delhi Police sources told IANS.

MORE PLAYERS MAY BE QUESTIONED

According to CNN-IBN, three to four more players are under the radar in the IPL spot-fixing scandal and are likely to be questioned next week. The name of the players, sources say, came up after the interrogation of a group of bookies. The police have also asked for the footage of all the matches played by the Rajasthan Royals from IPL's broadcaster Set Max.


BOOKIE ARRESTED IN KOLKATA

A bookie and nine of his associates were arrested in Kolkata, police on Thursday said, adding that they were investigating if the culprits had links with the ongoing IPL spot fixing controversy.

Bookie Ajit Surekha and others were nabbed on Wednesday night from their hideout in north Kolkata and several mobile phones, a laptop and cash were seized, police said.

YASHWANT SINHA SLAMS IPL

The Indian Premier League is a den of gambling, BJP leader Yashwant Sinha told a news channel on Thursday and pressed for a detailed inquiry into the spot fixing in the tournament.

"What is required is a detailed inquiry into who all are involved in match fixing. Who are responsible for reducing the game of cricket to a den of gambling; action should be taken under the law against all these people ... however mighty or glamorous they may be. They must be brought to book and they should be brought to justice," Sinha said.

Slamming the BCCI, he said: "Obviously BCCI consists of a large number of eminent people, including ministers of the government. BCCI had failed to regulate IPL in the manner in which it should have been regulated."

SAKSHI TWEETS...



D-COMPANY HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH MATCH-FIXING [Link]

Times of India has an interview with Chhota Shakeel, the henchman of underworld don Dawood Ibrahim. Excerpts:

Your gang's name has once again cropped up in the betting racket. Please explain.

Initially our gang was involved in the betting and match-fixing racket and it was entirely handled by Bhai's (Dawood) most trusted man Sharad Anna (Shetty). Anna passed away in 2002 and since then we have been out of it. Bhai has strictly warned all of us to stay away from betting. We are into real estate and other property businesses. Have you heard of us calling up anybody and threatening them in the last few years?

Earlier your gang was involved in betting and hawala operations?

Yes, our gang was involved in the last-match fixing controversy involving Hansie Cronjie but after that we are out of it. None of Bhai's family members, not even his brother Anees, is involved.

DELHI POLICE AND MUMBAI POLICE AT LOGGERHEADS?

CNN-IBN reports: The Delhi Police is likely to seek access to items found in S Sreesanth's hotel room in Mumbai. They will move court to seek access from Mumbai Police. The plea will be to request for the access to items seized from the hotel room where Sreesanth was staying.

BCCI NEEDS TO BE TRANSPARENT: GOVT [Link]

Sports minister Jitendra Singh wants that there should be certain minimum level of transparency and accountability that federations like the Indian cricket board need to ensure.

The minister said it was time to bring in a law that will serve as a deterrent to malpractices in sports and hinted at wider disagreements over the passage of the Sports Bill.

On a direct question of bringing BCCI under the ambit of RTI act, Singh said: “National Sports Federations are already under RTI. The Sports Bill is under drafting stage (and) we have put forward these points to the drafting committee. I think it is very important that there is transparency, people should know where the money is going.”


MORE TEAMS ARE INVOLVED: DELHI POLICE CHIEF [Link]

Delhi Police chief Neeraj Kumar has confirmed that more teams apart from Rajasthan Royals are being probed. Speaking to CNN-IBN's sister channel IBN7, Neeraj Kumar said the police are working on leads in connection with the involvement of other teams.

When asked which teams are under the radar, Neeraj Kumar said, "We don't want to reveal the names as it will affect our investigation. But we have some leads and we are working on that. We may or may not be successful."

VINDOO SPILLS THE BEANS ON BOLLYWOOD [Link]

The Mumbai crime branch claims to have stumbled upon a bollywood-bookie-cricketer nexus following the disclosures made by Vindoo Dara Singh, while investigating the betting racket busted by them. Vindoo who is currently in the custody of the crime branch's property cell, has started singing during custodial interrogation, sources said. He has allegedly told the police that he not only placed bets but also facilitated others in Bollywood in placing bets with bookies he knew.

A senior crime branch official said that Vindoo's mobile phone call record has revealed 'quite a few names' and they were investigating various connections to the betting racket busted by them.


VINDOO HELPED BOOKIES ESCAPE
[Link]

Vindoo on Wednesday admitted that he helped two bookies, Pawan Jaipur and Sanjay Jaipur, escape to Dubai, sources have told NDTV.

The two bookies - Sanjay and Pawan - had checked into a hotel arranged by the 49-year-old actor and went to the airport in his car, sources said. Sources say Vindoo was a "compulsive better" and must have bet in every game possible.

ICL ORIGINS TO FIXING TALE [Link]

Hindustan Times reports investigators now suspect such underhand deals in previous editions of the IPL and in tournaments such as the Indian Cricket League, a private league held between 2007 and 2009. 

The suspicion has strengthened following the interrogation of Baburao Yadav, a former ICL player turned bookie, and Sunil Bhatia, a fixer, who were arrested by the special cell personnel.

The disclosures made by them have led the investigators to examine the role of some ICL cricketers.


CRICKET CAN FIGHT CORRUPTION: DELHI POLICE CHIEF [Link]

Delhi Police commissioner Neeraj Kumar in an interview to ESPNcricinfo said the BCCI must maintain better vigil to clean up cricket in the country. "Most of this stuff happens quite openly: people are seen sitting with undesirable people and people do come to know about some strangers meeting somebody. So they have the list of the suspects, they should go after them."

Kumar also feel the BCCI can work in collaboration with law enforcement authorities to beef up its anti-corruption measures.


'YADAV PLANNED TO PLAY IN BANGLADESH LEAGUE' [Link]

Former Ranji cricket player Baburao Yadav, arrested in the IPL spot fixing scandal, had planned to play in the Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) with the help of one of the arrested bookies, police said on Wednesday.

Yadav, who was arrested on Monday, was taken to Bangladesh by bookie Sunil Bhatia in 2009 to introduce him to some of his contacts who could help Yadav play in the BPL, said a police official.

The police official said the information was given by Yadav and Bhatia, who are in police custody, during their interrogation.

Yadav could not play in the BPL as the anti-corruption team of International Cricket Council identified Bhatia as a bookie and he returned from Bangladesh to avoid arrest in Bangladesh.

COMPLETE COVERAGE

Sreesanth's betting company and CSK-Vindoo link

Pictures: Sreesanth visits Delhi court

Cops to grill Sreesanth for five more days

Cash, laptop recovered from Sreesanth's room

Sreesanth and Chavan admit to wrongdoing

Delhi police nails Sreesanth, Chandila, Chavan

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