MUMBAI, (Reuters) – Five uncapped Indian cricketers have been provisionally suspended following allegations of corruption in the lucrative Indian Premier League, the country’s cricket board (BCCI) said yesterday.
The Indian cricket board has also ordered a probe into the accusations, made by a local television channel.
“The president BCCI has immediately appointed Ravi Sawani (former head of ICC anti-corruption and security Unit) as the commissioner to make a preliminary enquiry,” the BCCI said in a statement.
The five cricketers – TP Sudhindra (Deccan), Mohnish Mishra (Pune), Amit Yadav (Punjab), Shalabh Srivastav (Punjab) and Abhinav Bali – will remain suspended from all cricketing activities pending the investigation, the BCCI said.
Out of the five cricketers, Bali has not played in any of IPL’s five editions.
Footage from India TV appeared to show an IPL player negotiating a fee for bowling a no-ball, while another said he received under-the-table payments above his contracted fee.
Each of the nine franchises has a salary cap and the player in question has not been capped by the national team, meaning he cannot be paid more than 3 million Indian rupees ($55,700) according to IPL rules.
The BCCI had sought complete footage of the ‘sting operation’ from the channel and later had a teleconference with the IPL governing council this afternoon where the decisions were taken.
Last year, Pakistan players Salman Butt, Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Amir were jailed in Britain for their role in a spot-fixing scandal relating to a test match against England at Lord’s in August 2010.
The spot-fixing scam, which shook the cricketing world, came to light after a British newspaper recorded sports agent Mazhar Majeed boasting of how he could arrange for players to rig elements of matches for money.
The International Cricket Council subsequently banned the three players for a minimum of five years.
A series of scandals has tarnished the image of the cash-rich IPL, which boasts a host of celebrity owners including India’s richest man Mukesh Ambani, spirits and airline magnate Vijay Mallya and Bollywood star Shah Rukh Khan.
($1 = 53.8450 Indian rupees)