When the Rajasthan Royals (RR) take the field in the Champions League Twenty20 tournament, it will be the first time the team returns to action after the spot fixing scandal rocked the team at the end of the Indian T20 domestic league. While they would have hoped to leave the scars of the controversy behind, the inclusion of Siddharth Trivedi in the squad will not allow an immediate reprieve.
RR’s S Sreesanth, Ankeet Chavan and Ajit Chandila were arrested on May 15, soon after Royals played Mumbai Indians at the Wankhede Stadium, for the allegedly plying by the demands of the bookmakers. On May 31, Trivedi recorded a statement at a Delhi court with regards to the case and turned prosecution witness.
Later, Trivedi deposed before BCCI’s Anti-Corruption and Security Unit chief Ravi Sawani. Also, BCCI expressed its displeasure over Trivedi having concealed facts during the scandal.
According to sources, Trivedi was a close friend of the trio caught in the spot fixing mess and was unaware of how to react after the scandal was out in the open. For Trivedi to play for the Royals after the three months disrupted by the fixing mess, it will be a difficult ask. How he performs on the field remains to be seen.
Earlier this month, team sources had claimed that the team was yet to decide on whether to include Trivedi and Harmeet Singh, who too is a prosecution witness in the case, in the team for the CLT20. The exclusion of Harmeet means Trivedi will be the centre of attention.
According to team sources, Harmeet was left out in order to get the team composition right. “With mainly green tracks in Jaipur, the team feels they need more pacers than spinners. So, Harmeet missed out,” a source told HT.
Royals start their campaign against the Mumbai Indians in the Champions League T20 at Jaipur on September 21.
In his statement to the Delhi police, Trivedi revealed that he had accepted money to fix the IPL games in 2011, but returned it after he failed to comply with the directions given.
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