Ankeet Chavan’s alleged involvement in the Indian Premier League (IPL) spot fixing scandal came as a shocker to one of his spin bowling mentors — Ramesh Powar.
The former India offie, who has spent a good amount of time guiding Chavan during the Ranji Trophy season for Mumbai, revealed that the league is rife with temptation.
“There are a lot of temptations in the IPL. It is a completely different lifestyle. You stay in five-star hotels, get the best of facilities and luxury. With most cricketers coming from middle-class families, it is quite a distraction if you don’t stay focused on your game.
“A lot of people move around in the corridor and the hotel lobby. You wouldn’t know who these guys are if you are new. They might be bookies,” Powar, who played for the Kings XI Punjab and Kochi Tuskers Kerala, told MiD DAY hours after the news of Chavan’s arrest by Delhi Police yesterday.
Powar, however, found it hard to believe that Chavan would fall to temptation. “Chavan is not new to this environment. This is his third IPL. By now, he must be aware of what would be happening.
“If it is true, then it is quite shocking. We have played for a while together. He is a man of principles and ethics. He is a very hard working guy. He comes from a good family as well,” Powar said.
Powar missed most of Mumbai’s Ranji Trophy matches last season due to injury. Chavan (27) took up the challenge in his absence and finished as Mumbai’s highest wicket-taker (33 wickets).
Powar stressed that Chavan was not one to lose focus from cricket. “From what I know, his focus never wavered. All that he wanted to do is play for Mumbai regularly.
He was keen to cement his place in the team and was doing really well in his career. He played a big role in Mumbai winning the Ranji Trophy,” said Powar.
Mumbai coach Sulakshan Kulkarni said Chavan is a genuine person. “He is very shy and an innocent guy. He is quite simple and always focused on his game. It is hard to imagine that he is involved in this (spot fixing),” said Kulkarni.