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‘Bookies approached IPL players’ 2 cricketers under investigation over corruption

NEW DELHI, May 22, (AFP): Batting legend Sunil Gavaskar revealed Thursday two cricketers were under investigation over possible corruption in this year’s Indian Premier League, a T20 competition already reeling from betting and spot-fixing scandals. Gavaskar, who has been put in charge of the Indian Premier League (IPL), said bookmakers made contact with a pair of unnamed players during the ongoing season, which the world cricket body was probing. Asked if players have been approached this season, Gavaskar told the Press Trust of India news agency: “There have been a couple and it’s been reported to ACSU. They are looking into it.” The troubled IPL has hired the International Cricket Council’s Anti-Corruption and Security Unit (ACSU) to monitor the eight-team tournament which began in April.

India’s Supreme Court placed Gavaskar in charge of the IPL in March after it forced the country’s cricket board president, N. Srinivasan, from office over last year’s betting and fixing scandals in the IPL. A Supreme Court panel has probed wrongdoing in the IPL after former Test bowler Shanthakumaran Sreesanth was charged with deliberately bowling badly while playing for the Rajasthan Royals in return for thousands of dollars from bookmakers.

The panel concluded that Srinivasan’s son-in-law Gurunath Meiyappan — who was the team principal of the Chennai Super Kings — could be guilty of illegal betting on IPL games. The Super Kings are owned by India Cements, whose managing director is Srinivasan. The team are captained by India skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni. The court has accused Srinivasan of effectively turning a blind eye to the allegations of wrongdoing in the IPL on his watch. Srinivasan, who has denied any wrongdoing, had been seen as the most powerful man in world cricket and is still due to take over in July as head of the International Cricket Council. Police have charged Sreesanth and other players over last year’s scandals along with a string of bookies and others. International news organisations, including Agence France-Presse (AFP), have suspended their on-field coverage of matches hosted by the BCCI since 2012 after the board imposed restrictions on picture agencies.

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