“I have been given a chance to clarify my stand and I am preparing for it now. I am sure that I will come out of this 100 per cent. I am ready to face any enquiry,” Shalabh told MiD DAY after he and four others — Mohnish Mishra, TP Sudhindra, Amit Yadav and Abhinav Bali — were suspended by the BCCI pending a probe into the scandal that has rocked Indian cricket.
Yesterday, the left-arm seamer from Uttar Pradesh was asked to depose before the inquiry commission, headed by Ravi Sawani, the former head of the International Cricket Council’s Anti-Corruption Unit, who is now heading the BCCI’s newly set-up Anti-Corruption Unit. The meeting that took place in Delhi lasted for an hour.
Srivastava insisted he had been trapped by shady elements. “I was trapped. There are no such intentions (as claimed in the sting operation). They met me four or five times and during a conversation you tend to say things casually. So, that was just loose talk and nothing more,” said Srivastava, who according to the TV channel demanded Rs 10 lakh to bowl a no ball as part of a spot-fixing operation.
“I would never dare to do such things. Everybody in the cricketing circle knows me well. I’ve been playing for over a decade now,” added Srivastava, who was India’s highest wicket-taker at the Under-19 World Cup in Sri Lanka in 2000.
The seamer claimed the TV channel’s representatives approached him with endorsement offers. “They approached me with endorsement offers, which is a dream for any domestic cricketer. But once they started talking about fixing and stuff I started to doubt them. I never met them after that. These tapes have been edited. I have not done anything wrong,” reasoned Srivastava, who also claimed to be having the full support of his near and dear ones. “My family and friends are shocked at the claims, but they are fully backing me.”