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IPL match-fixing controversy: MS Dhoni finds the going increasingly suffocating

Gurunath Meiyappan (left) with MS Dhoni © AFP
The bombshell was dropped when SP G Sampath Kumar brought up the fact that bookie Kitty had confessed that Meiyappan had told Kitty that Dhoni had agreed to (score 140 and) lose the match © AFP

In a recent development Superintendent of Police G Sampath Kumar has mentioned MS Dhoni and Suresh Raina’s names in his statement to the Mudgal Committee. Abhishek Mukherjee delves deeper into the raging controversy.

G Sampath Kumar, the Superintendent of Police (SP), Railways, Trichy — the man who has recently submitted his statement to the Mudgal Committee — has come out with astonishing revelations regarding the Indian Premier League (IPL) match-fixing scam.

In an interview with Headlines Today SP Kumar (formerly a member of Internal Security) has mentioned that the match between Rajasthan Royals (RR) and Chennai Super Kings (CSK) at Jaipur on May 12, 2013 had been fixed. The build-up for the same had started from April 22-23. He also mentioned a bookie who goes by the name of Kitty.

Kitty had mentioned that he had asked Gurunath Meiyappan to “go and talk to a few players in CSK”. When asked to name the players SP Kumar revealed that Gurunath Meiyappan had mentioned Dhoni and Raina among others (whose names he did not reveal). Meiyappan had allegedly approached Dhoni and Raina in a party to discuss on this.

The bombshell was dropped when SP Kumar brought up the fact that Kitty had confessed that Meiyappan had told Kitty that Dhoni had agreed to (score 140 and) lose the match. The “deal” was “struck” on April 27 or 28. He added that Meiyappan had allegedly “confirmed” Dhoni’s involvement in the matter.

Hindustan Times has mentioned that Kumar had been transferred from Internal Security to Railways following his interrogation of Kitty. Justice Mukul Mudgal, however, has refused to make a statement till the stipulated date, which is March 7, 2014.

As per India Today, Meiyappan had allegedly placed a bet of INR 1.4 crores against CSK during the match. Phone transcripts confirm that Meiyappan had told Vindoo Dara Singh that RR “is winning pakka”. On knowing that Singh had placed a bet of INR 20 lakhs on the match Meiyappan had asked him to increase the bid to INR 50 lakhs.

Just before CSK’s next match (against Delhi Daredevils at Cheapauk) Vindoo had told the names “LB [Albie Morkel], [Jason] Holder, [Dwayne] Bravo, [Michael] Hussey” on a phone conversation to Meiyappan, probably confirming the names of the four overseas players who would play for CSK on that match.

In response, Meiyappan had said “No other change, no other change.” Indeed, the seven Indians who had played against RR on May 12 had been retained for the next match.

What really happened on May 12, 2013?

Michael Hussey and Murali Vijay had got CSK off to a breezy start, adding 83 in 11.3 overs before Hussey was bowled by Stuart Binny. Raina had walked out to take a single off the first ball. When he faced the first over of the next ball from Kevon Cooper he (after having scored 262 in the previous four matches) holed out rather tamely to Sanju Samson at long-off.

The batsmen had crossed over; after Vijay took a single, Dhoni attempted a straight heave off the first ball but the ball soared over point and the batsmen took two. He left the next ball alone and tried another almighty heave the next ball, the famous steely grit having vanished somewhere: this time the ball took the edge and went to Shane Watson at first slip.

Vijay, Ravindra Jadeja, and Dwayne Bravo then took the score to 141 for four in 20 overs and RR won with 17 balls to spare thanks to a 45-ball partnership of 93 between Watson and Binny.

Related facts

  • The final of the Asia Cup is scheduled on March 8. The verdict will come out a day before that.

Catch all the Repurcussions of the Mudgal Committee report

(Abhishek Mukherjee is the Deputy Editor and Cricket Historian at CricketCountry. He blogs at http://ovshake.blogspot.in and can be followed on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/ovshake42)

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