हिन्दीಕನ್ನಡമലയാളംதமிழ்తెలుగు

The code that undid the cricketers

Published: Friday, November 10, 2000, 0:30 [IST]
 
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New Delhi: The taxman does indeed have a mischievous sense of humour! Consider the code names income tax sleuths used when they launched their raids sometime back on the country's top cricketers in wake of the betting and match-fixing scandal. Never before had the nation's sports icons been targeted by the taxmen. So, to ensure that word of their raids does not leak, S C Parija, Director-General,Investigation, Income Tax, says, they gave colourful code names to theiroperation. Take for example, the code name for the overall operation - "Operation Gentlemen", although cricket no longer appears to be a gentleman's game tomany now. For the raid on cricketing legend Kapil Dev, the code was "Operation GCI" - Greatest Cricketer of India. For the raids on Navjot Singh Sidhu's premises in Patiala, the code name used was "Operation OB". That is easily explained by the fact that Sidhu opened the batting for India in Tests and One-Day Internationals. But the code for the raids on all-rounder Ajay Jadeja easily takes the cake."Operation Fisherman" is how it went out. Was it because Jadeja did TV spots for Kingfisher, the famous mineral water and beer brand? Or was it that the taxmen thought he was fishing in troubled waters? The latter, says Parija. It's easy to guess what "Operation OS" stood for? Because it was for the raids on Nikhil Chopra, the off-spinner. But perhaps the most interesting of the codes was reserved for the most famous of the lot - ex-captain Mohammed Azharuddin. "Operation Vidyut" was the code name. Translated into English, the Hindi word "vidyut" means electricity. The connection between Azharuddin andelectricity? Easy! Sangeeta Bijlani, his wife, is also known to friends as "Bijli", which translated into English means electricity!

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