iPhones were offered just to meet someone: KPL player opens up on fixing scandal in T20 league

Times Now

Times Now

Author 2019-11-09 12:31:41

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The Karnataka Premier League fixing scandal is turning out to be one of the biggest cases of corruption in the sport in recent times. As many as six participants of the league have already been arrested, including four players, one coach, and one franchise owner. With players and members of the teams in the league gradually coming out and revealing more details on the scandal, one of the players said that they were being offered iPhones just to speak to someone on the condition of anonymity.

“It was a matter of when, not if,” a former Karnataka State Cricket Association (KSCA) official was quoted as saying. “When they know some guys simply won’t do it (fix), they are extremely careful around us. When you are not around, it becomes free for all,” said a player who has been playing in the KPL since the inaugural season in 2009.

Another player revealed how iPhones were being distributed among players just to meet someone and it was none other than the coach who had taken up the responsibility of getting phones distributed to the players.

“A player came up to me to say he was offered an iPhone just to meet someone. There is one coach who was carrying a bag full of iPhones to be distributed among players,” the player revealed.

In what seems to be only the start of a widespread web of corruption in the league, a former head of ICC and BCCI anti-corruption unit (ACU), Ravi Sawani, who was in charge of KPL's ACU last season through his private firm, confirmed that multiple approaches were made by bookies and fixers to players in order get inside information into the matches and fix certain outcomes of cricketing encounters.

“It is up to the management to deal with them and make them public. We monitored on a day-to-day basis. Whenever there were any issues, they were reported,” he said.

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Isolated incidents aren't as difficult to report but the players come under huge pressure and dilemma when the root of the problem lies at the top. In cases where the team owner, the coach, or the captain is the one initiating acts of corruption, the players find it tough to report matters. This has been one of the scenarios in the KPL.

“The problem is when the rot is top-down, players are reluctant to report. Even if you don’t want to do what they ask you to, reporting it when coaches and owners of your team are involved is not easy. My captain, who was clean, figured out how wrong things were within the team and began announcing the playing eleven in the team huddle after the communication devices were taken away,” a player reported.

A franchise official also revealed that one of the players was dropped by the team skipper as his rate of scoring runs wasn't apt. It was later found out that the player was deliberately scoring slow, as it was in the context of the 'fixing' arrangement he had made.

“A senior player was dropped for batting slow by the captain. He thought it was poor form. He later discovered batting slow was part of the fix,” a franchise official said.

“It’s happened in a real match situation where the captain was waiting for instructions on whether to bat or bowl before going for the toss,” another player revealed.

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