Corruption in the IPL June 6, 2013

Raj Kundra confesses to betting on IPL matches

ESPNcricinfo staff

Rajasthan Royals co-owner Raj Kundra has confessed to betting on IPL matches, including matches involving his own team, Delhi's police commissioner has said. Kundra and his friend and business partner Umesh Goenka were called in for questioning by the Delhi Police at their Special Cell office, which lasted 12 hours.

"Raj Kundra has confessed to betting," Neeraj Kumar, the Delhi Police commissioner, told reporters. "He would place bets through Umesh Goenka, who is a bookie." Kumar also confirmed to The Hindu newspaper that Kundra and Goenka's passports had been impounded in order to, "ensure that they are available to join the probe as and when found necessary."

Later in the day Jagmohan Dalmiya, appointed to run the BCCI's affairs, said the board's working committee would discuss the issue at its meeting on Monday.

Kumar's statements came a day after the police interrogated the two intensively.The questions pertained to the operations of the Rajasthan Royals team, ownership patterns, security measures and processes in place. Goenka made a statement before a magistrate which can be treated as evidence in court, while Kundra submitted a written statement in front of a police officer.

Though Goenka doesn't have anything directly to do with the Royals management, he and Kundra, who bought a 11.7 per cent stake in the Royals ahead of IPL's 2009 edition, are partners in a steel business unit.

According to PTI, Goenka's name cropped up during Royals' bowler Siddharth Trivedi's statement in front of a magistrate at the Delhi Police special cell last week. Trivedi, the report said, had told the magistrate that Goenka had sought information related to team formation from him.

SN Srivastav, special commissioner of police, Delhi Police special cell told news channel CNN-IBN that Kundra had told interrogators that "he had lost a lot of money on betting, but we need to verify that. We are not taking everything at face value."

When asked why Kundra was allowed to leave, Srivastav added: "Our focus of this case is fixing and not on betting. At this stage, the evidence we have against RK and Goenka is that of betting. We are still in the process of collecting more evidence. And we'll take a call as we proceed."

Following the questioning, Kundra lashed out at the media via his twitter account for its coverage of the story. "Good morning woke up to news raj kundra faces the heat. yes it's very hot in Mumbai. Media has misconstrued everything using unreliable sources. Try speaking to the Main guys at crime branch. Why does media hype things and make such stupid claims to sell news. Is there an arrest warrant? I am back home in Mumbai. Kindly let Delhi crime branch do their work. media stop using derogatory statements," he tweeted.

The interrogation was part of the investigation into the arrests of three Rajasthan Royals players allegedly for spot-fixing during the Indian Premier League's sixth edition. The arrests of S Sreesanth, Ajit Chandila and Ankeet Chavan were followed by those of several bookies and Chennai Super Kings' team management member Gurunath Meiyappan, son-in-law of BCCI chief N Srinivasan who was later released on bail.

It was followed by former BCCI secretary Sanjay Jagdale, who had signed the tripartite player contracts involved between the BCCI, franchises and players and IPL chief operating officer Sundar Raman visiting the Delhi police headquarters for providing requisite information.

The corruption scandal has overshadowed the on-field performance of Rajasthan Royals during the sixth edition of the IPL, which concluded on May 26. The Royals finished third this season, their first top-four finish since their triumphant campaign in IPL's inaugural edition in 2008. Since the 2008 triumph, Royals have been embroiled in various controversies.

The team - owned by a consortium of four business conglomerates - was often accused of having been given by soft corner by founding chairman Lalit Modi. Suresh Chellaram, whose family owns the largest stake in the Royals, is Modi's brother-in-law. As a result, Modi's ouster from the BCCI and IPL was soon followed by the BCCI expelling Rajasthan Royals and Kings XI Punjab for a breach of the franchise agreement. However, Royals took the legal recourse and were reinstated into the IPL well in time before the 2011 auction.

The Royals have also been under the scanner for their monetary flow, with the Enforcement Directorate having issued multiple notices to them for an alleged breach of regulations. With the ownership pattern and monetary transactions being questioned time and again, the moneyball team of the IPL has been in the news more for off the field activities than on it since the inaugural season.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Keith on June 13, 2013, 10:17 GMT

    This is a very small sample size, but I must say I am disturbed by the number of comments about there being nothing wrong with owners betting, especially on their own teams. All major sports ban it outright, and everywhere. The temptations and opportunities for manipulation are obvious. If we cannot have consensus on at least this point in the cricket, then there is very little hope left for the sport. Another, thankfully less common, response here and elsewhere is the scrapping of inconvenient rules. If everyone has an urge to bet, then let us simply eliminate the rules and let license reign. How far do people REALLY want to push this proposition throughout the whole of sport and society? The implications are to my mind simply ghastly. It is like giving total freedom to immature children and youth, and then being shocked at the all to frequently disastrous results. As Harsha Bhogle pointed out in his most recent Cricinfo column, we may chafe and grumble but rules save us.

  • Dummy4 on June 7, 2013, 10:34 GMT

    we too bet in our laboratory in leisure time for fun, without money exchange........There is no connection between fixing and betting as such, unless the better want to win at any cost and approaches bookies, fixers etc. The emerging fact that Raj Kundra was betting on his own team and was losing shows that he was not knowing the future results, hence he is innocent, except that its illegal in India. There are many rules which need to be scrapped, this is the one.

  • Vijay on June 7, 2013, 8:28 GMT

    Wow! So from 9 teams, IPL is going to feature just 7 teams next year? At this rate, IPL will reach the 10th edition having just 2 teams. The right thing to do would be to scrap the entire IPL and build a new one - one that is much more transparent and clear about its rule. It should be one in which "conflict of interests" should have no place in.

  • Jayaram on June 7, 2013, 7:55 GMT

    And MS dhoni and Rahul Dravid are innocent cricketers and so are others. They just hold some key positions such as Vice President or CEO in firms owned by Cricket teams and BCCI bosses...

  • Kannan on June 7, 2013, 6:07 GMT

    What a shame. With fame and wealth comes responsibility. And not many people understand this.

  • Dummy4 on June 7, 2013, 6:00 GMT

    Mr Kundra is Not a Team Owner or Principal. He is Another CRICKET ENTHUSIAST who travels along the team and take part in player Auctions!!!

    Have to find out how many Cricket enthusiasts will come to limelight again...

  • N on June 7, 2013, 5:30 GMT

    @TSJ07: Actually it is a bigger shame if the owners are betting on other teams. If Raj was betting on the Royals all the time, I don't have a problem (except that betting is illegal in India).

  • ARIF3011 on June 7, 2013, 5:24 GMT

    Horse Racing is legal in India where the only interest of stakeholders as well as the public is putting bets on horses. Casino business is coming up fast where gambling is the objective (another form of betting). Why suddenly so much noise when someone admitted his involvement in "betting" in cricket which is not "fixing the games"? In my opinion, all betting and gambling avenues should be banned/closed in India if intension is to keep the society clean. It is totally unfair that at one place it is ok, but not at other places. Selective approach? Not going to work.

  • Abhishek on June 7, 2013, 4:23 GMT

    Why shouldnt an owner bet? Betting doesnt influence any part of the came. Its just that he has money. He wants to bet - not to make money. But just for fun. Why do so many people play cards.. for the money? or for the fun. And a lotta people outside bet too. everybody knows that. People place bets in 100's or 1000's. Kundra placed more cos he has the money. Betting is legal in most places. It is kinda legal even at Race cources. When gambling is legal in GOA. y cant u legalise betting. If u ask me. its a really trivial issue. and the police and Media are blowing it outa proportion. Kundra's case. and Also Gurunath.

  • Dummy4 on June 7, 2013, 4:14 GMT

    One of the comments reminds me of a piece I read about an astrologer, who had analyzed the positions of the planets and told the Authour (Jyoti Bachaspati), "You will not pass Matriculation exams" (SSC). He replied, "I have passed" Little annoyed, the astrologer said, "You cannot pass Intermediate exams' (HSC) "I have passed the exams and I have also passed Degree and Masters and teaching students now as Professor" Apparently, the astrologer was furious and he said, "You must have copied!"

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