Ex-IPL & Ranji player alleges bribery offer to fix matches

A former Indian Premier League and Ranji Trophy player has alleged that he was offered Rs 40 lakh for match-fixing, and a complaint has been filed with Bengaluru Police in this regard.

Rajagopal Sathish hails from Tamil Nadu, and apart from his home state, has also appeared for Assam in the premier first-class competition in the country. He has been on the roster of Kings XI Punjab, Mumbai Indians and Kolkata Knight Riders in the IPL. He also played in the unsanctioned Indian Cricket League, and returned to the official fold after general amnesty. The 41-year-old now plays for Chepauk Super Gillies in the Tamil Nadu Premier League (TNPL) and it is believed Sathish was offered the money to compromise matches in this tournament.

Before approaching police, Sathish had also raised the matter with the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI). The International Cricket Council (ICC) has also been informed.

A police official said the formal complaint with them was filed after directions from the BCCI. “A special team has been formed and we suspect that the accused, who claimed to be called Bunny Anand, is in Bengaluru,” the official said.

As the BCCI Anti-Corruption and Security Unity (ACSU) doesn’t have investigative, search and seizure powers, it relies on police in any case related to match-fixing, spot-fixing or any other form of corruption in cricket.

The police complaint has been filed by B Lokesh, who is with the ACSU, at Jayanagar police station in Bengaluru, the official said. According to it, “on January 3, a person named Bunny Anand contacted Sathish on Instagram and messaged him luring to pay Rs 40 lakh and told that two players have already agreed to the offer. Sathish said that he said ‘sorry’ to the offer.”

ACSU chief Shabbir Khandwawala confirmed that the matter is now with the police.

“The player approached us and ICC, and informed us that someone had approached him on Instagram. We took details of the case and told our ACU officer to file a police complaint in the matter. We are just a facilitator and now police will look into the case,” Khandwawala said.

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