New Delhi, May 16: Delhi police commissioner revealed each and every detail of how three Rajasthan Royals cricketers including S Sreesanth were involved in spot-fixing during the Indian Premier League 2013 (IPL 6).
On Thursday, police arrested Sreesanth, Ajit Chandila and Ankeet Chavan for their alleged involvement in spot-fixing. Later, adressing the media, Delhi police, with video evidence seemed to have exposed the RR players.
The police said the agreement between the cricketers and bookies was to make signals before the start of overs. The police said three IPL matches were spot-fixed, all involving Rajasthan Royals.
The matches that were part of spot-fixing were May 5 (RR Vs Pune Warriors in Jaipur), May 9 (RR Vs Kings XI Punjab in Mohali) and May 15 (RR Vs Mumbai Indians in Mumbai), said Delhi commissioner Neeraj Kumar on Thursday.
Police said that before the start of the overs, players gave signals to bookies so that they could place bets. Rotating your watch, wasting time setting the field, taking out towel and taking out a locket, were some of the signals by the players, police said.
In the first match (May 5), police said, Chandila had agreed to give away 14 runs in his second over. However, the offspinner failed to give signals before the over. That led to an argument with bookies as they could not place bets. Chandila had got Rs 20 lakhs as advance and rest of Rs 20 lakhs was to be paid later. With Chandila not giving signals, bookies asked him to return the advance amount. Chandila delivered on his promise of giving the amount of runs.
"In certain overs they (the players) were supposed to give away a certain amount of runs. The bookies gave players instructions that they have to indicate that they would give away these runs," Kumar said.
"The instructions were 'put the towel in your trousers or take time setting up the field or take out the shirt or the vests that you are wearing'," added Kumar, elaborating on the signals that the players used to convey their consent for the bookies' instructions.
"The first instance that came to our notice was Rajasthan Royals vs Pune Warriors on May 5. In this match, as already agreed upon, Chandila gave 14 runs in the second over of his spell but he forgot to give the predetermined signal due to which the bookies could not bet in this match," Kumar said.
"This led to an argument and demands for return of money. Rs 20 lakh was advanced to him and another 20 was to be given later. He had to return the money," he added.
In the second game (May 9), Sreesanth was involved to give set number of runs (14). In the third game (May 15), Chavan was the player involved, police said. In the third game, Chandila was not part of the playing XI but was the main man to ensure Chavan delivered. Police said Chandila 'motivated' Chavan all day long.
Sreesanth's signal was to put out a towel from his trouser as a signal. He conceded the agreed number of runs in his second over, police said. In the match footage, Sreesanth bowled his first over without a towel but had one for the second. He gave 13 runs.
In game against MI, Chavan had promised to give at least 13 runs in his second over and he delivered by give away 15, police added. Chavan was to get Rs 60 lakhs for spot-fixing in that over. Chavan gave 15 in that over.
DCP Sanjeev Yadav then gave an account of the conversation that took place between Chandila and a bookie named Amit Kumar before the match.
Chandila was supposed to pull up his shirt to signify the start of the manipulated over. Even though he conceded the agreed 14 runs but having forgotten to give the signal, the bookies could not place any bets.
The next match the police talked of took place on May 9 in Mohali.
"In this match, Sreesanth was to put a towel in his trousers before bowling the second over and give bookies enough time to indulge in heavy betting," said Kumar.
The DCP then stated that in this particular match, Sreesanth's close friend Jiju Janardhan was in touch with bookie Chandresh Patel.
"As decided Sreesanth bowled the first over without a towel. but in the second over he put a towel in his trousers and to give bookies time, he did some warm-up and stretching exercises," he said.
"He gave 13 runs instead of the agreed 14 in his over," said Kumar, adding that minor aberrations were not of much consequence for the bookies.
The police showed the clipping from the match in which Sreesanth bowled the compromised over with a towel.
The next game police talked about took place only the previous night against the Mumbai Indians.
"Ajit Chandila was not playing but he was acting as a go-between among the bookies and Ankeet Chavan to take Rs 60 lakh and perform as per the bookies' instruction. He was supposed to give 13 or more runs," Kumar said.
"He gave two runs in his first over and in the second over, in the first three balls itself he gave 14 runs after which he controlled his bowling and gave only one more run in the remaining three balls," he added.
"Chandila motivated Chavan, they had a chat with the bookies. Chavan said 'I would move my wristband' to signal," added Yadav.
Kumar said the police team was present in all these matches.
"Our team was present in all these matches. One of the reasons was because those signals could have been given during commercial breaks also, so, to keep track our team was watching the matches at the stadium," he said.
"Sreesanth was arrested at Carter road in Mumbai, Chandila outside hotel Intercontinental where some of the bookies were staying and Ankeet Hotel Trident," said Kumar.
Asked about how the investigation, Kumar said, "It was an information that we had that the Mumbai underworld is indulging in match-fixing or spot fixing and contacting a number of bookies and some players are mixed up," he said.
"We were keeping them under surveillance. The names of these three came to light and we waited for a situation when all three could be pinned down," he added.
Police said that Sreesanth was arrested from Carter Road, Mumbai while Chandila and Chavan at Hotel Intercontinental and Hotel Trident respectively.
(With PTI inputs)