Mumbai cricketer Hiken Shah has be handed over five years ban for his role in spot-fixing case during Indian Premier League (IPL) in 2013. He claims he the word ‘fix-up’ were put in his mouth by Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) ASCU chief Ravi Sawani during inquiry conducted in regard to IPL fixing. He feels he became a scapegoat at the time of inquiry. In a chat with The Indian Express, Hiken says he will continue to fight:
When asked if he was expecting five years ban from cricket, he said disappointingly, “I am very disappointed with verdict of the inquiry. Whatever written reply I had given to the BCCI, it was not considered at all. They remained on their stand. With one player’s statement they have come to this result. Without any evidence, without any single proof, they have given such a huge punishment.” He further added, “I told them that I did meet Pravin Tambe, I have kept that stand till now. I met him to procure admission in DY Patil college, so that donation thoda come ho jaye. (Tamble plays for DY Patil academy). I still don’t know what misunderstanding happened. What he (Tambe) thought and complained. They made me scapegoat.” ALSO READ: Ajit Chandila handed life ban by BCCI; Hiken Shah barred for 5 years
“Only Tambe’s statement is there and they have linked up to one of my friends who they suspect to be a bookie. I don’t want to reveal much as BCCI has not allowed me to reveal anything about report. Now, they will accuse me of revealing report.” He went on to say they did not have relevant proof to find him guilty in this case, “Proof, link, kuch toh do (give something). They don’t have any proof so how they will provide it. For example I just spoke to you and tomorrow they say that you are bookie, first you prove that the person I am speaking to is a bookie. If that guy has done it, how does it relate to me? He is friend of mine but that doesn’t mean he has influenced me. In my reply, I said it clearly that my intention was never of this. Iam saying what the fact is.”
He also mentioned he has not spoken to Tambe about this incident, “No. BCCI said don’t talk to him. I never tried. They told me that if I speak to Tambe then BCCI will find me guilty. He was in England and I was there too, playing club county, but I never tried to approach him there. I did whatever they (BCCI) asked for. They asked for my phone records, I gave it. I gave them all details they asked for. I never hid anything. What if I would have told them ke main nahi mila Tambe se, proof do? I never said no to the meeting. If I have met, I have met. It just case of misunderstanding, it can happen between friends, misunderstanding happens with family members, husband-wife, it can happen with everyone.” ALSO READ: Hiken Shah approached Bombay High Court to challenge suspension by BCCI
he denied to have said anything to Tambe with regards to fixing the match, “Nahi kaha, (I didn’t). I even told this to Ravi Sawani that I never told him anything like fix-up. I never used that word. Yeh sab zabardasti bulwaya gaya mujhse. (This was coerced out of me). Ravi Sawani said all these things, He said that you used that word fix-up, we have proof. If I say no, he said then neeche media wale hain, tera job chala jayega. (Media is downstairs, you will lose your job if you say no) They have threaten me to admit it. Even before I got suspended I thought nothing will happen, They never considered my reply. Yeh toh seedha seedha faasane ka he hai.Chalo bakra mil gaya hai, humko dikhana hai ke hum kuch kar rahe hain. Scapegoat bana do usko. (This is clear case of entrapment. We found a scapegoat, we have to show that we are taking some action)
When asked what is his next step, he sadly mentioned, “Everything is over for me, Five years ban is like life ban. I will go to court, I have faith in judiciary. Not possible to accept this verdict. I was a small player, never played IPL, nobody knew me. They have targeted me because of one complaint. There is no proof.”
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