IPL spot fixing: Sreesanth, Ankeet Chavan banned for life

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New Delhi: Friday the 13th lived up to its reputation. On the same day that the four adult accused in the Delhi gang rape case were given the maximum punishment, those involved in spot-fixing in IPL Season 6 were also brought to book by a cricket board panel.
The BCCI disciplinary committee pronounced punishments, noticeably a life ban for pacer S. Sreesanth and left-arm spinner Ankeet Chavan, who were found guilty of spot fixing by the one-man Ravi Sawani commission. The decision of the Indian cricket board's disciplinary committee to ban cricketers accused in the spot fixing scandal made it judgment day here in the capital on Friday following a city court sentencing those found guilty in the murderous gang rape of a 23-year-old woman paramedic in December last year to hang till death.
The Board of Control for Cricket in India, whose inept handling of the entire spot-fixing and betting scandal has been under the scanner ever since the row broke out in May, sent a strong signal to the erring players with life bans on India pacer S. Sreesanth and his Rajasthan Royals teammate Ankeet Chavan.
“Mr. S. Sreesanth is banned for life from playing any representative cricket, or in any way being associated with the activities of the BCCI or its affiliates,“ a BCCI statement said.
At a plush city hotel here, all the accused except fomer Rajasthan Royals player Amit Singh deposed before the committee comprising BCCI's sidelined president N. Srinivasan and vice-presidents Arun Jaitley and Niranjan Shah.
Srinivasan, who has excused himself from the day-to-day functioning of the Board following the alleged involvement of his son-in-law and Chennai Super Kings team principal Gurunath Meiyappan in betting practices, decided to chair the meeting in an apparent bid to assert his position in the run up to the annual general meeting on September 29.
The decisions on Sreesanth and offspinner Chavan were on expected lines after the one-member probe panel of former police officer Ravi Sawani found the duo guilty of leak ing a pre-determined number of runs for bribes during some matches of this year’s IPL and recommended a life ban. “The disciplinary committee may consider my report and impose such sanctions as considered appropriate to send out a strong signal indicating the zero tolerance policy of the BCCI to any corruption in the sport that is so dear to millions of Indians and fans abroad,” part of the Sawani report stated. “Obviously, the anti-corruption education given to the players had no impact on the conduct. Therefore, the players deserve no leniency whatsoever,” the report added.
Amit, who was part of the Royals’ squad till last season, was banned for five years while being described as ‘the bad fish that spoils the entire pond’ by Sawani.
Pacer Siddarth Trivedi got away with a one-year ban while young leftarm spinner Harmeet Singh, who was part of the Under-19 World Cup winning team last year, was let off for lack of evidence.
Trivedi and Harmeet were cleared of spot-fixing charges by the report but were found guilty of not reporting the approaches made by bookies.
Off-spinner Ajit Chandila, whose name has prominently figured for luring players into fixing, has to wait for some more time to learn his fate after he presents his case to Sawani.
The Board decided to give him time as he was granted bail only on Sept. 9 and is yet to questioned by Sawani.

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