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May 19, 2013
The Indian board has outlined its first detailed response to the spot-fixing controversy, which includes an accreditation process for player agents and increased security for teams during the IPL. The plan was announced by BCCI president N Srinivasan after a meeting of its working committee on Sunday, three days after three Rajasthan Royals players were arrested on charges related to corruption in cricket.
The BCCI also appointed a commission of an inquiry into the spot-fixing, to be headed by its Anti-Corruption and Security Unit (ACSU) chief Ravi Sawani. He will present his findings to the BCCI's disciplinary committee, after which the Indian board will decide what action to take on the three players.
Srinivasan also said that Rajasthan Royals will file a police complaint against three of their players arrested earlier this week on allegations of spot-fixing. He said the BCCI itself will not press legal charges. "We are advised that the BCCI by itself cannot because they (the players) are contracted to the franchise, the franchise is filing."
In a statement issued by Royals on Sunday, the franchise said they would file FIRs to help the police carry out the investigation. "It is critical that this evil is rooted out of the game, and as such we will be filing FIRs with the Delhi Police. This will ensure that justice is pursued to its most complete end, and that the police is able to appropriately conduct its investigation."
Betting on sports, except horse-racing, is illegal in India and since the controversy broke, there have been demands for legalising betting, but Srinivasan wasn't sure that would solve the problem. "In other countries they have legalised betting and it has helped control ... but I do not know as far as India is concerned."
Srinivasan also acknowledged the limitations of the ACSU in stopping corruption in cricket. "They can't gather information like police can. They can't tap phones. They have got a lot of restrictions," he said. "Not being a police organisation, we are handicapped when it comes to control over bookies."
The BCCI meeting was convened after three cricketers playing in the IPL - Sreesanth, Ankeet Chavan and Ajit Chandila - were arrested by Delhi Police for their alleged involvement in spot-fixing. Amit Singh, a former Royals cricketer, was arrested as a bookie.
BCCI had suspended the four cricketers, pending enquiry, after the controversy occurred. The three Royals players were arrested on Thursday by Delhi Police for allegedly indulging in spot-fixing during three IPL matches. The Delhi Police also arrested several bookies for their role in the matter.
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