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

Jul 27, 2014 (15:30 IST)   at Southampton

Pakistan tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Aug 6, 2014 (10:00 IST)   at Galle

India tour of England 2014

Aug 7, 2014 (15:30 IST)   at Manchester

South Africa in Zimbabwe, 2014

Aug 9, 2014 (13:30 IST)   at Harare

Pakistan tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Aug 14, 2014 (10:00 IST)   at Colombo

More

Afghanistan tour of Zimbabwe, 2014

Jul 24, 2014  at Bulawayo

Afghanistan won by 100 runs

South Africa tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Jul 24, 2014  at Colombo

Match drawn

Afghanistan tour of Zimbabwe, 2014

Jul 22, 2014  at Bulawayo

Afghanistan won by 2 wkts

Afghanistan tour of Zimbabwe, 2014

Jul 20, 2014  at Bulawayo

Zimbabwe won by 8 wkts

Afghanistan tour of Zimbabwe, 2014

Jul 18, 2014  at Bulawayo

Zimbabwe won by 6 wkts

Photos

India vs England 2014, 3rd Test

Videos

Shaun Udal on India vs England 3rd Test

India vs England Live Cricket Score 3rd Test Day 2 at Southampton: England reach 355/3 at lunch

12 little-known facts about Garry Sobers

Pankaj Singh and other Test cricketers from Rajasthan

Pankaj Singh rewarded with India cap for years of consistency at domestic level

Mike Griffith: My choice of Mike Gatting as President of MCC was all about timing

Alastair Cook England England vs India England vs India 2014 India India tour of England 2014 India vs England India vs England 2014 South Africa South Africa tour of Sri Lanka 2014 South Africa vs Sri Lanka South Africa vs Sri Lanka 2014 Sri Lanka Sri Lanka vs South Africa Sri Lanka vs South Africa 2014

South Africa bat out Day 5 against Sri Lanka to win series 1-0; move to No 1 in ICC rankings

India vs England 2014, 3rd Test at Southampton: England in control at Lunch

Rohit Sharma takes maiden Test wicket; dismisses Gary Ballance in third Test between India and England at Southampton

Ian Bell and Gary Ballance get century partnership against India on Day 2 of third Test at Southampton

Ian Bell scores 42nd Test half-century in 3rd Test against India at Southampton

India vs England 2014, 3rd Test at Southampton: Alastair Cook’s innings could be a turning point for England’s fortunes

Michael Holding’s take on Ishant Sharma bowling from Pavilion End — problems with expert opinions

India vs England 2014 3rd Test at Southampton stats highlights: Day 1

India vs England 2014, 3rd Test at Southampton: Gary Ballance fills in the void left by Jonathan Trott

12 little-known facts about Garry Sobers

Fan of the Day

Fan Cricket

Fan Cricket

11 Posts | 2 Fans

Brazil vs Netherlands, 3rd place Fifa World Cup 2014 match Video Highlights

Diet Tip #27 — Have orange juice for increase in hemoglobin

Ian Bell and Gary Ballance get century partnership against India on Day 2 of third Test at Southampton

Healthy recipe: Organic almond and broccoli soup

Salman Khan plans a grand Eid party, will Shah Rukh Khan be invited?

How people feel sharing their life events on social media

Ian Bell scores 42nd Test half-century in 3rd Test against India at Southampton

Apple iPhone 6 launch order could trigger a 10 percent price hike by other OEMs

After Raai Laxmi, Janani Iyer changes her name to Janani

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here