Is there a match-fixing angle to Goa's cricket captain not accepting the challenge of scoring 130 runs in 19 overs against Maharashtra in a Ranji Trophy match on Sunday? Goa Cricket Association (GCA) president Dayanand Narvekar would rather not say so.
Asked if GCA was looking at a possible match fixing angle, Narvekar said: "I am not aware exactly what it was." Stand-in captain Swapnil Asnodkar was suspended for two matches after he decided to call off the tie with Maharashtra at Povorim when Goa was in a position to force a victory.
The team had decided to chase down the target, but Asnodkar, who was leading the side in the absence of the injured Shadab Jakati, decided to call it off after the sixth over when Goa was 18 for one with Asnodkar on five and Abhishek Raut on eight.
GCA has ordered a probe and dropped Asnodkar for two matches. "We have asked for call records of Swapnil to see who all was he in touch during the match and if anyone could have influenced his decision," said Narvekar, a former vice-president of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).
"You can even see the recording in which fifth over was played out as a maiden by Swapnil and he later shook hands with Maharashtra players to call off the match," said Narvekar. He said the GCA had already resolved to drop Asnodkar for the next two Ranji Trophy games and hinted that the "unexplained declaration," had made it difficult to bring him back into the team.
Asnodkar, who gave some flamboyant starts to Rajasthan Royals, told reporters after the game that he had taken the decision after "taking into account the condition of the pitch."