Goa player says Asnodkar did not want to chase target
The pressure on suspended Goa batsman Swapnil Asnodkar to explain his actions after aborting a fourth-innings run chase against Maharashtra intensified on Thursday after a team-mate, Abhishek Raut, submitted a letter stating that Asnodkar had asked him not to go for the potentially gettable target in their Ranji Trophy Plate group match played at Porvorim last week.
"Raut has said that he was told not to chase by Asnodkar immediately into the chase of the small target," Goa Cricket Association secretary, Prasad Phaterpekar, told ESPNcricinfo.
Asnodkar, Goa's stand-in captain for the match, was suspended for two games for his unilateral decision to call off the chase as team management had explicitly decided they would go for the win during the change of innings. On Thurday, Asnodkar submitted a letter to the association explaining his actions, but Phaterpekar said it had not been opened yet.
"We have started our internal investigations. Swapnil has sent his apology-cum-explanation on his act on November 9. We have not opened his letter yet. "We are taking the matter seriously and will place all our finding in front of the managing committee once the papers are ready and the investigations are complete."
Asnodkar's troubles began on the final day of Goa's opening round game against Maharashtra. After debutant Ganeshraj Narvekar claimed a five-wicket haul to bundle Maharashtra out for for 91 in their second innings, Goa were left needing 130 runs to get from 19 overs.
Before starting their innings, the hosts decided that they would go for the win. Asnodkar walked out with a new opening partner in Amit Yadav, a hard-hitting batsman who was pushed up ahead of the regular opener Vaibhav Naik to help kickstart the chase. But when Raut walked in after the early fall of Yadav, Asnodkar informed him to go slow. He then played out the sixth over, eventually the final over the match, as a maiden before telling Maharashtra that Goa were not going for the target and the teams agreed to call off the game.
In the first response from the BCCI about the case, Rajeev Shukla, currently IPL governing council chairman and member on BCCI's marketing committee, said, "The BCCI has not come to know of any match-fixing (during Goa--Maharasthra game)." Shukla, an MP, spoke to reporters outside Parliament on Thursday and said, "There are no cases of match-fixing here as we have adopted strict measures to curb the menace. All the Indian players are clean."
Nagraj Gollapudi is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo