NEW DELHI (IANS): The Indian cricket board Friday came down heavily on the tainted cricketers, slapping life bans on Test pacer S. Sreesanth and his Rajasthan Royals teammate Ankeet Chavan for spot fixing in the Indian Premier League (IPL). A decision on Ajit Chandila will be taken in a few days.
I have done no wrong: Sreesanth
The Board of Cricket for Control in India (BCCI) disciplinary committee banned cricketer-turned-bookie Amit Singh for five years and gave his Royals teammate Siddharth Trivedi a one-year sentence for not reporting that he was approached by bookies.
The disciplinary committee met here under the chairmanship of self-exiled president Narayanaswami Srinivasan and deliberated on the findings of anti-corrution unit chief Ravi Sawani for more than three hours. The other two members of the committee are BCCI vice-presidents Arun Jaitley and Niranjan Shah.
Harmeet Singh, 20, who was part of India's Under-19 World Cup winning team in 2012, was let off with a warning since the BCCI had no evidence against him. Harmeet had a similar charge against him as Trivedi but was cleared of any wrongdoing.
"After considering the evidence on record and hearing each of the players in person, the disciplinary committee has passed the following order. Amit Singh is banned for a period of five years from playing any representative cricket, or in any way being associated with the activities of the BCCI or its affiliates," BCCI secretary Sanjay Patel said in a statement.
"Siddharth Trivedi is banned for a period of one year from playing any representative cricket or in any way being associated with the activities of the BCCI or its affiliates.
"Ankeet Chavan is banned for life from playing any representative cricket, or in any way being associated with the activities of the BCCI or its affiliates.
"S. Sreesanth is banned for life from playing any representative cricket, or in any way being associated with the activities of the BCCI or its affiliates," the statement added.
"The case against Harmeet Singh has been closed in the absence of evidence against him."
Since Chandila was released from jail this week, Sawani couldn't interrogate him and his case will be taken up later.
"Sawani couldn't interrogate Chandila so his case will be taken up in a while. Sreesanth and Chavan have been banned for life for their involvement in the spot fixing scandal. Amit Singh and Siddharth Trivedi have been banned for five and one year, respectively. Harmeet Singh has been let off with a warning for not reporting to the authorities that the bookies had approached him," BCCI vice-president Niranjan Shah told IANS.
Jaitley said that the decision of the committee is binding.
"The evidence was different against each of the accused. The decision of the disciplinary committee is binding. Since the decision is about the players, it need not be ratified by the annual general meeting or any other body," Jaitley said.
A former CBI officer, Sawani recommended the bans in his report submitted to the board last month. Sawani, also a former International Cricket Council (ICC) anti-corruption unit chief, was asked to investigate the alleged involvement of Sreesanth, Chavan and Chandila in conceding a pre-determined number of runs per over in exchange for money during the IPL's sixth edition.
"The disciplinary committee may consider my report and impose such sanctions as considered appropriate to send out a strong signal indicating the zero tolerance policy of the BCCI to any corruption in the sport that is so dear to millions of Indians and fans abroad," the paper quoted Sawani as saying.
The four players found guilty of spot-fixing are among 39 persons who have also been charged separately by Delhi Police in the corruption scandal that rocked this year's IPL.
All four players belong to the Rajasthan Royals franchise, but Sreesanth, 30, is the only one to have played for India. He was part of the teams that won the World Twenty20 in 2007 and the World Cup in 2011.
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