NEW DELHI (TIP): Rajasthan Royals’ players S Sreesanth and Ankeet Chavan were on September 13 “banned for life” for their involvement in the IPL spotfixing scandal by the Disciplinary Committee of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI). “They have been banned for life from playing any representative cricket, or in any way being associated with the activities of the BCCI or its affiliates,” a statement issued by board secretary Sanjay Patel said. The BCCI disciplinary committee, comprising N Srinivasan, Arun Jaitley and Niranjan Shah, met here today to consider the report submitted by Ravi Sawant, appointed by the board to inquire into the scandal. Sawant has held Sreesanth, Chandila and Chavan guilty of conceding a “predetermined number of runs per over in exchange for bribes”.
The committee took the decision “after considering the evidence on record, and hearing each of the players in person”. Cricketer-turned-bookie Amit Singh was banned for five years while his Royals teammate Siddharth Trivedi got one-year ban for not reporting that he was approached by bookies. The case against Harmeet Singh, 20, who was part of India’s under-19 World Cup winning team in 2012, has been “closed in the absence of evidence against him”. No decision was taken on Ajit Chandila, as his deposition was not complete. He got bail three days ago and would be asked to appear before Sawant for evidence. His case would come up before the disciplinary committee after that.
Sreesanth was the last to be called in by the committee. The former India player said, “I have never cheated. I gave them my side of the story. I did not argue with anybody. Everybody was very cooperative. Since childhood, I only dreamt of playing for India. I will never cheat the game. I have faith in the judiciary and the BCCI. I hope to play again.” However, the BCCI did not trust his side of the story, and preferred to go by what Ravi Sawant had observed. A minor drama was played out in the Disciplinary Committee room as N Srinivasan reached the venue and chaired the meeting, though it was widely expected that Jaitley would steer the proceedings in the wake of Srinivasan “stepping aside” as the board president following alleged involvement of his son-in-law Raghunath Meiyappan in the fixing scandal. However, a reliable source said it had been decided at the working committee meeting that Srinivasan would discharge his constitutional duties, and, therefore, it was “mandatory” for him to chair today’s meeting.