Cricket: Police say players accepted thousands

Indian police say three cricketers, including test bowler Shanthakumaran Sreesanth, allegedly accepted tens of thousands of dollars for spot-fixing.

Eleven bookmakers were also arrested in connection with the inquiry, said Delhi Police Commissioner Neeraj Kumar, as he gave details of three games in the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL) at the centre of the corruption probe.

Kumar said that more bookmakers were expected to be arrested as part of the inquiry which has already seen the accused players suspended by the Indian cricket authorities.

Spot-fixing is an illegal activity where a specific part of a game, but not the outcome, is fixed.

Sreesanth, who has played 27 tests for India, is alleged to have been paid four million rupees (about $89,000) to give away around 14 runs in an over while playing for the Rajasthan Royals against the Kings XI Punjab on May 9.

His teammate Ankeet Chavan had also allegedly agreed to give away the same number of runs in a match on Wednesday night against the Mumbai Indians in exchange for six million rupees ($134,000), police said.

Ajit Chandila, was believed to have been paid two million rupees ($44,000), for giving away a set number of runs in a match between the Rajasthan Royals and the Pune Warriors, police said.

"This much money has exchanged hands. This money was given to them by the bookies," said Kumar.

"The modus operandi included asking the bowlers to give pre-decided signals with the help of their accessories like watches, wrist bands, neck chains and towels.

"The bowlers were asked to concede at least a given number of runs in a pre-determined and mutually decided over. After receiving the signal from the bowler, the bookies would bet heavily and make huge profits."

Kumar said the fixing was organised by members of the Mumbai mafia, adding that the overall mastermind was "sitting abroad".

Australian former test bowler Shaun Tait issued a statement angrily denying any links to the arrest of his three IPL teammates.

Tait's name circulated in social media, on radio and a number of websites along with the three Indians, the 30-year-old robustly denying any wrongdoing in a statement.

"I'm bewildered, I'm angry and I'm upset at the false suggestions I've been involved in any wrongdoing," he said in the statement.

Angry fans burned posters of the players during a protest in the southern city of Bangalore. The Rajasthan Royals said they would co-operate fully with police in the investigation.

- AFP

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