Ajit Chandila was asked to approach Shane Watson by bookies, reveals Harmeet Singh to police

Harmeet Singh told police that Ajit Chandila refused to rope in Shane Watson (above) by saying that the Australian cricketer “was too big for his boots.” © Getty Images

New Delhi: Jul 5, 2013
 
India Under-19 and Rajasthan Royals cricketer Harmeet Singh on Thursday revealed that Ajit Chandila was contacted by three bookies — Mannan, Jitender alias Jeetu and another unnamed person at a Mumbai hotel, asking to influence Australian all-rounder Shane Watson.
 
But Chandila refused by saying Watson “was too big for his boots”, reports Times of India.
 
Harmeet confirmed that he was present in the hotel room in mid-February. His statement was recorded before the magistrate at Saket court. However, special cell is yet to gather evidence of bookies approaching Watson. Meanwhile, Harmeet was given a clean chit as he wasn’t involved in IPL 2013 spot-fixing controversy.
 
Harmeet was approached by bookies, however, they gave up the idea of using him as they felt he was “young” and could not do much for them, Delhi Police claimed.
 
 The Mumbai left-arm spinner first met Chandila and Ankeet Chavan during their Air India days. Police clarified that Harmeet had to listen to Chandila as the latter was nine years older to the left-arm spinner.
 
“Harmeet told us that he had signed for the erstwhile Deccan Chargers in 2010 but could not play due to his Class XII exams. In January 2013, he got a call from RR captain Rahul Dravid and was elated,” an officer said.
 
Chandila contacted Harmeet in the same month and asked him to meet at Baba Hotel near Bandra in Mumbai. Harmeet was taken to a room where the bookies were waiting for them.
 
“Harmeet has recognized the faces of Mannan and Jeetu from photos,” special CP (special cell) SN Srivastava said.
 
Police said Chandila had asked Harmeet to do “according to their bidding” while Jeetu just told him to play with confidence.
 
“We will talk then,” bookies told Harmeet. Jeetu later asked Chandila to approach Watson.
 
“Harmeet claimed that Chandila immediately refused. Jeetu then inquired if he could get another bowler to join spot-fixing. To this, Chandila said they have Sreesanth and Chavan,” said an officer.
 
Chandila later asked Harmeet not to feel “too fussed about it and just chill as all of them were his friends”.
 
The 20-year-old said after that he never met any bookies and also spoke about the parties Chandila used to arrange. Harmeet also said that anyone could meet the cricketers at hotel as Rajasthan Royals officials never monitored the movement of the cricketers.