KPL betting scandal: No cricketer in custody, except bookie Sayyam

Updated: 13 December, 2019 15:04 IST | IANS | Bengaluru

The investigators could not extract much information from Sayyam as he was only giving out bits and pieces, he also petitioned the Karnataka High Court for bail

Representation picture
Representation picture

Bengaluru: No cricketer is in Bengaluru police custody pertaining to the Karnataka Premier League (KPL) betting scandal, following the release of C.M. Gautham and Abrar Kazi on Wednesday, a police officer said on Thursday.

"Gautham and Kazi received bail late evening on Wednesday. Right now, no cricketer is in custody, only bookie Sayyam continues to be in custody," central crime branch deputy commissioner of police Kuldeep Jain told IANS.

Karnataka High Court judge K.N. Phaneendra issued bail to Gautham and Kazi.

Bengaluru Blasters teammates Gautham and Qazi were held for questioning by the police for nearly a month, they were arrested on November 7 on betting and spot fixing charges.

Haryana-based bookie Sayyam was arrested in connection with an old KPL betting case on November 11.

The investigators could not extract much information from Sayyam as he was only giving out bits and pieces, he also petitioned the Karnataka High Court for bail.

Former Karnataka Ranji Trophy team batsman and Karnataka State Cricket Association (KSCA) managing committee member Sudhendra Shinde also received bail on Monday.

Shinde was arrested for aiding and abetting KPL betting scam, the local T20 tournament approved by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).

Police questioned him for assisting Belagavi Panthers owner Asfaq Ali Thara in betting and spot-fixing KPL matches.

In the recently concluded 2019 KPL edition, Shinde was the coach of Belgavi Panthers T20 team, owned by Ali, who was also arrested and released on bail.

Former Bellary Tuskers' owner Arvind Venkatesha Reddy also received an anticipatory bail from the High Court on Wednesday despite absconding overseas.

Reddy is suspected to have fled the country, fearing police action over his involvement in the KPL betting scam. There is look out notice on Reddy to apprehend him when he tries to enter India.

Though the police presented a strong case against Reddy receiving an anticipatory bail in absentia, he still managed to procure one without being present in India.

Meanwhile, police are also looking into the links between Kannada film industry and the local T20 tournament, as some actors were known to have attended parties with the cricketers.

Jain said the investigation is underway about the Kannada film industry and KPL links, without divulging information.

Separately, a source told IANS that all the people and stakeholders involved in the KPL betting scam have become extremely guarded in their behaviour, taking utmost care not to slip any word whether being questioned by police or not.

"We are suspecting that the people involved in KPL scandal are being tutored to evade police and their questioning and not spill out any information," said the source.

However, police is pursuing the case through a multi-pronged approach, deploying new methods and gathering crucial data to confront the culprits with undeniable evidence, the source said.

Run by the KSCA, KPL, an intra-state T20 tournament, has been mired in betting, honeytrapping and spot-fixing controversies. The betting scandal led to the arrest of a string of cricketers, bookies, team owners and others.

Started in 2008 and envisioned to be a feeder tournament to the cash-rich BCCI-owned Indian Premier League (IPL), KPL has emerged as a leading local franchise-based league.

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First Published: 13 December, 2019 14:18 IST

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