Thursday, June 20, 2013

IPL Spot Fixing Scam: Took money from bookies, returned it after sting scare: Siddharth Trivedi

At a time when questions are being raised about its probe into the IPL spot-fixing scandal, the Delhi Police is counting on the statement of Rajasthan Royals cricketer Siddharth Trivedi recorded in the presence of a magistrate under Section 164 of the Code of Criminal Procedure.

It is learnt that Trivedi, in his statement, admitted he had taken Rs 3 lakh — in sums of Rs 1 lakh and Rs 2 lakh — from alleged bookies Deepak Sharma and Sunil Bhatia for session-fixing. But he claimed to have returned the money because he was scared when a sting operation trapped seven players last year. He said the sting was an "eye-opener" and he severed all contact with the duo.

The police have made Trivedi a prosecution witness. His statement was recorded before the magistrate to strengthen evidence in the case.

It is learnt that Trivedi said his first brush with spot-fixing was in 2010 when Amit Singh, another Rajasthan Royals cricketer, introduced him to bookies in Ahmedabad. Singh was also arrested by the Delhi Police Special Cell last month.

In 2011, Trivedi met cricketer Ajit Chandila who introduced him to Deepak Sharma.

Trivedi told the magistrate that Sharma and Chandila took him to the DLF Promenade mall in Vasant Kunj, South Delhi, where Chandila bought him expensive clothes and perfumes.

In February 2012, Chandila asked him to play in a tournament in Ahmedabad where he was introduced to Sunil Bhatia. Trivedi claimed it was then that spot-fixing was discussed.

Trivedi also claimed that Chandila got into the Rajasthan Royals team because of him. When IPL 5 began in April 2012, the team was looking for a bowler. It was on his suggestion that Chandila was called for trials and later selected, he said.

He said he was contacted by Amit Singh and Deepak Sharma when the IPL season began in April this year. He claimed he refused to meet them but Bhatia asked him to come to a hotel. He claimed to have seen Sharma and Bhatia with "Ankeet Chavan and other cricketers" — Chavan, another Rajasthan Royals player, was also arrested by the Special Cell last month.
Prawesh Lama : New Delhi, Thu Jun 20 2013, 08:34 hrs Small Large Print

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