6 spectators of fixed matches will now act as witnesses
Apart from Rajasthan Royals captain Rahul Dravid and the sponsors of the team, six spectators selected from suburban Andheri in the city, and Jaipur and Mohali will act as witnesses in the IPL spot-fixing case.
Soon after the scam exploded, investigators sent many emails to spectators who had witnessed the fixed overs in the matches fixed on May 5, May 9, and May 15 this year (‘When Sreesanth lost his cool over a cellphone’, MiD DAY, August 12).
Officials from the Delhi Police’s special squad said that soon after the arrests, they approached the ticketing staff and retrieved information on all the people who had booked the tickets for the IPL matches in which Rajasthan Royals players S Sreesanth, Ankeet Chavan and Ajit Chandila had bowled fixed overs.
“We had sent mass mails to various spectators who had watched the matches. Out of the responses we received, six spectators were selected and made witnesses in the case. We have taken two witnesses for each of these matches played on May 5, May 9 and May 15,” an officer from the special cell revealed, on the condition of anonymity.
Rahul Dravid has also testified before the cops against his teammates. In his statement, Dravid said, “If I or any of the selectors had known that any of the players had agreed to compromise his on-field performance, we would never have selected him. I have been cheated by these players who made me believe that they would perform to the best of their ability, but they have done otherwise.”
Not just Dravid, several other corporates working for Rajasthan Royals have been made witnesses in the case. Investigators have recorded their statements under Section 161 of the Criminal Procedure Code.
Matches that were fixed
May 5, Rajasthan Royals v/s Pune Warriors
at the Sawai Man Singh Stadium Around 5.54 pm, a call between Ajit Chandila and former cricketer and bookie Amit Singh was intercepted in which it was decided that Chandila would give a signal before bowling his second over in which he would give away 14 or more runs. Chandila bowls his first over in which he gives away 9 runs. In his second over he gives away 14 runs but forgets to give the signal causing rifts between Chandila and bookies
May 9, Rajasthan Royals v/s Kings XI Punjab, at Mohali
On May 9, phone calls monitored between Sreesanth, Patel and Manan revealed that the cricketer had struck a deal through Jiju for the match. Amit Singh was the prime facilitator of the deal. Phone surveillance revealed that Sreesanth would deliver a ‘fixed’ performance during the second over of his spell, before which he would give a signal by tucking a towel in his trousers. It was decided that he would give away 14+ runs in that particular over. Sreesanth also took some extra time for warm-up, so that bookies could accept bets.
May 15, Rajasthan Royals v/s Mumbai Indians at the Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai
Another conversation on May 15 before the match reveals that Ankeet Chavan had fixed a deal of Rs 60 lakh to give away more than 14 runs in the match. According to the transcripts of the call recorded between him and Ajit Chandila, he was supposed to move his wristband to indicate to the bookies the ‘fixed’ over.