Home > Features >

IPL spot-fixing and betting controversy: A year since the exposure

It all started with the arrest of Ajit Chandila, S Sreesanth and Ankeet Chavan and an year later, the spot-fixing scandal has unearthed a huge can of worms © IANS
It all started with the arrest of Ajit Chandila, S Sreesanth and Ankeet Chavan and an year later, the spot-fixing scandal has unearthed a huge can of worms © IANS

The Indian Premier League (IPL) 2013 betting and spot-fixing controversy first came to light on May 16, 2013. Nishad Pai Vaidya looks back at the eventful year that has rocked Indian cricket.

The date May 16, 2013 won’t be forgotten by Indian cricket for years to come. If the match-fixing scandal of the year 2000 was considered Indian cricket’s worst nightmare, they faced an even bigger shock on a summer’s day 13 years later. For years, cricket fans liked to believe that their favourite game was clean; with some odd rumours from time to time. But, the Indian Premier League (IPL) heralded a new era and sadly, brought in some unwanted elements. A fan’s view would never be the same again.

May 16 was supposed to be any other day with all the cricketing action only in the evenings. However, the Indian cricket woke up to the news that Shanthakumaran Sreesanth, Ankeet Chavan and Ajit Chandila, the three Rajasthan Royals bowlers were arrested on allegations of spot-fixing early that morning. It was the first time cricketers were arrested on allegations of cheating in India. Back in 2000, there were no arrests, but the accused were merely banned. This time, a full blooded drama was in store.

As the hours went by, the police released more details about their arrests. The players had apparently made a few signals on the field to indicate that the “deal” was on. At the same time, the tournament ensued, but many watched with prying eyes, not knowing what was genuine. The biggest blow was the fact that Sreesanth, a capped Indian cricketer, was one of the accused. But, it was only the beginning of bigger things to come. There was supposedly more to it than meets the eye.

In such times, rumours flew thick and fast, with some accusations in the media about players who remained in their respective sides. But, the most damaging of them was against Gurunath Meiyappan, the Chennai Super Kings Team principal, as his Twitter bio suggested. It was alleged that he had put money and placed bets on certain results. With close proximity to the Chennai think tank, Meiyappan had information at hand. Even Vindoo Dara Singh, a Bollywood actor was arrested on allegations of betting a few days later. Meiyappan was also arrested.

What made the drama bigger was that Meiyappan was the son-in-law of N Srinivasan, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) President and Managing Director of India Cements, the owners of the Chennai franchise. With controversy at his doorstep, he refused to resign or vacate his position. Adamant in the face of the calls, Srinivasan remained staunch in his stand.

Meanwhile, the tournament continued and the Mumbai Indians went on to beat Chennai in the final. This game was played under the dark shadow of the off-field events and one can say that all that finally took a toll on Chennai on the field.

It has been a year since the whole saga unfolded. But, the drama hasn’t died down. The BCCI initially appointed its own probe panel, which gave clean chits to the big fish. But, they were dragged to court by Aditya Verma, the chief of the Cricket Association of Bihar (CAB), a body that was trying to fight for its own recognition. Verma became the face of the crusade against the BCCI and the way the game was run in the country. And, the Supreme Court setup a probe panel headed by Justice Mukul Mudgal.

In 2014, Mudgal submitted his report to the Supreme Court and certain sections are kept confidential, which supposedly contain the names of players who have been involved in murky deals in the past. The Court proceedings have gone on with the Supreme Court coming down hard on the BCCI, asking why Srinivasan was still holding on to his chair. The BCCI proposed its own panel, having been given a chance by the Supreme Court. However, the Apex Court was unhappy and immediately asked Mudgal if he would continue.

What started off as an alleged incident of spot-fixing, spiraled into a huge controversy which only exposed the pitfalls in the running of the game in the country. The BCCI was left red-faced through the controversies and this hangs around their heads even as another edition of the IPL continues. As far as the accused players go, they are unlikely to feature in any cricket having been handed life bans, except Chandila, on whom the decision is awaited.

All of this only came to light as a few allegedly decided to give into their temptations.

Catch the entire timeline of the IPL 2013 controversy here

(Nishad Pai Vaidya is a Correspondent with CricketCountry and anchor for the site’s YouTube Channel. His Twitter handle is @nishad_45)

India tour of England 2014

Aug 27, 2014 (15:00 IST)   at Cardiff

Bangladesh Tour of West Indies, 2014

Aug 27, 2014 (05:29 IST)   at Basseterre, St Kitts

Zimbabwe Triangular Series, 2014

Aug 29, 2014 (13:00 IST)   at Harare

India tour of England 2014

Aug 30, 2014 (15:00 IST)   at Nottingham

Pakistan tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Aug 30, 2014 (10:00 IST)   at Dambulla

More

Zimbabwe Triangular Series, 2014

Aug 27, 2014  at Harare

South Africa won by 7 wkts

Pakistan tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Aug 26, 2014  at Hambantota

Sri Lanka won by 77 runs

Zimbabwe Triangular Series, 2014

Aug 25, 2014  at Harare

Australia won by 198 runs

Bangladesh Tour of West Indies, 2014

Aug 25, 2014  at Basseterre, St Kitts

West Indies won by 91 runs

India tour of England 2014

Aug 25, 2014  at Bristol

Match abandoned without a ball being bowled

Photos

Don Bradman's ducks

Videos

Mitchell Marsh: This is a big opportunity for me

India vs England Live Cricket Score 2nd ODI at Cardiff: India inch closer to victory

Australia vs South Africa Live Cricket Score, Zimbabwe Tri Series 2014 Match 2 at Harare: South Africa win by 7 wickets

Don Bradman and his ducks

India vs England ODI series 2014: Why an Indian win will be surprising

MS Dhoni taking on England in England and BCCI at home!

Australia England England vs India England vs India 2014 India India tour of England 2014 India vs England India vs England 2014 Pakistan Pakistan tour of Sri Lanka 2014 Pakistan vs Sri Lanka Pakistan vs Sri Lanka 2014 Sri Lanka Sri Lanka vs Pakistan Sri Lanka vs Pakistan 2014 Zimbabwe Zimbabwe Triangular Series 2014

IPL 2013 spot-fixing and betting controversy: Mudgal committee meets police investigators in Chennai

Ravichandran Ashwin dismisses Eoin Morgan to leave England in deep touble against India in 2nd ODI

CLT20: PCB confident about Lahore Lions’ participation

Eoin Morgan, Ben Stokes steady England against India in 2nd ODI

PSL will be launched in December 2015, says PCB

Suresh Raina silences critics after cracking stupendous ton for India against England at Cardiff

Shakib Al Hasan’s return: A desperate move by Bangladesh Cricket Board?

Don Bradman and his ducks

India vs England ODI series 2014: Why an Indian win will be surprising

India vs England, 2nd ODI at Cardiff: England’s likely playing XI

Fan of the Day

Niharika Shah

Niharika Shah

664 Posts | 6 Fans

Funny cricket video

Anthony Bourdain’s ‘Parts Unknown’ Wins Emmy Award

What is a yeast infection?

Sri Lanka vs Pakistan, 2nd ODI at Hambantota: Video highlights

Hyperlapse iOS app review: Simple, hassle-free time-lapse video creator unlocks loads of creative possibilities

International programme in Animal Husbandry

Abhishek Bachchan celebrates 10th anniversary of Dhoom!

HP recalls 6 million laptop power cords citing “fire and burn hazard”

How to have sex after having a baby

Congress to hold ‘discussions’ with ticket-seekers for NCP seats

Saeed Ajmal reported for suspect action: PCB prepared for the worst

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here