Many allegations of sporting fraud, says committee
The worst of the corruption in Indian cricket may not have been uncovered as yet. The Justice Mudgal Committee has submitted a sealed envelope which, it says, contains information about persons who could be involved in "sporting fraud."
The names of those persons and the allegations against them are enclosed in the envelope that the committee, set up to investigate charges of match-fixing and betting in IPL, handed to the two-judge Supreme Court bench of AK Patnaik & JS Khehar on Monday.
"The Committee during its interactions and on review of documents provided to it has come across many allegations of sporting fraud," the committee's final report said. "However, as of now these are mere allegations and we do not think it proper to cast aspersions on the persons named unless investigations are conducted. The names of the persons and allegations in view of the sensitive nature of the information are being provided separately in a sealed envelope."
In addition to the sealed envelope and the final report the committee submitted a supplementary document by Nilay Dutta, a senior advocate and member of the Assam Cricket Association, that expanded on the investigations.
Dutta's report revealed that members of the Delhi and Mumbai police told the committee that some Indian and foreign players" were connected to "betting activities." The report said the banned Indian fast bowler Sreesanth told Delhi Police about "three prominent" Indian players being involved with bookies.
The report also noted an investigation conducted by the Indian edition of Sports Illustrated that had recorded conversations between a "prominent Indian capped" player and various bookies. The journalist could identify the "voice" of this player, who was part of the Indian squad during the 2011 World Cup and is also part of the "present" Indian team.
"A journalist who apparently was connected with recording of tapes for Sports Illustrated revealed that the said investigation found links to Dawood Ibrahim [India's most wanted criminal] and that the money laundered through booking activities were being used for funding terrorist activities," Dutta's report stated.
The committee, Dutta noted, had spoken to former BCCI presidents IS Bindra and Shashank Manohar during its investigation. Bindra made the committee aware of a former "prominent" Indian player who, he said, was allegedly involved with the bookies along with a former "reputed" Indian player. Manohar, Dutta said, had told the committee that the "all matches" in the IPL needed to be investigated, an indicator of how deep corruption had spread in cricket's most lucrative domestic tournament.
Dutta also highlighted a conversation between two bookies on May 15 last year where two Indian players' names were mentioned during their phone conversation. "In the transcript of the tape recordings between Mr. Chandresh Jain alias Jupiter and Ashwani Aggrawal alia Tinku Mandi at 0042 hrs on 15.05.2013, there are references to high-level fixing of players where the names of two international Indian players were mentioned.
"It thus appears that names of six prominent Indian capped players are available in tapes in connection with dealings with bookies while two of these prominent Indian capped players have also been named by none other than a former President of BCCI," Dutta wrote in his report.
Nagraj Gollapudi is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo