Just a day after Karnataka State Cricket Association president Roger Binny said his administration was striving to keep cricket “clean”, a senior official of the state’s managing committee has been arrested as part of the ongoing investigation into corruption in the Karnataka Premier League (KPL).
Sudhindra Shinde, a former Karnataka player, was arrested by the Central Crime Branch (CCB) of Karnataka Police on Wednesday for allegedly being involved in “match-fixing”.
The 39-year-old Shinde, who played 19 matches for Karnataka between 2002-03 and 2007-08, has performed various roles at KSCA as part of the management and in a coaching capacity as well. He was the Karnataka Under-19 coach, a position he had to step down from after being elected to the KSCA managing committee this August.
According to Sandeep Patil, joint commissioner of police (crime), Shinde “fixed” a few matches in the 2019 KPL along with Belagavi Panthers’ team owner Ali Asfaq Thara. Both Thara and his team have been suspended by the KSCA, which also recently put the KPL on hold till the police wrap up the ongoing investigation.
Patil said Thara had approached Shinde – who later became head of cricket at Panthers – in 2017 to sponsor the Social Cricketers club, which the latter ran in Bengaluru.
“Shinde was running a cricket club in Bangalore from many years,” Patil said. “Around 2017, Ali came and joined the club and started to sponsor it. That is when Ali and Shinde came in contact and started this whole network of match-fixing. He along with Ali has fixed few matches.”
The KSCA is yet to react to the latest development, including its possible action against Shinde.
On Tuesday, Binny had reacted for the first time after being elected KSCA president recently. Binny called the KPL corruption scandal as an “unfortunate turn of events”, and that the KSCA would sanction the guilty appropriately.
“With the unfortunate turn of events with regard to the Karnataka Premier League, we would like to reaffirm that we are fully cooperating with the authorities to ensure that those who have wronged the sport will be subject to due process of law,” Binny said. “Any player/official/franchise, who has brought disrepute to the sport/association due to their involvement in betting/match-fixing or any other illegal activity, will be suspended immediately, if there is a prima facie evidence.”
Shinde’s arrest came on the back of several other people, including cricketers, being interrogated and even apprehended by the police in the past few months. Apart than Thara and Bhavesh Bafna, who played the drums at the grounds during KPL matches, the police recently took into custody former Karnataka captain CM Gautam and spinner Abrar Kazi. Both had represented Bellary Tuskers in the last season of the KPL.
The KPL corruption scandal followed the alleged approaches made to players during the last edition of Tamil Nadu Premier League (TNPL).
The BCCI’s anti-corruption unit launched an investigation into the TNPL controversy, too, and recently anti-corruption head Ajit Singh said that the KSCA had been “amply warned” about some of the KPL matches being possibly “compromised” if adequate safeguards were not put in place.
On Sunday, Sourav Ganguly, the BCCI president, said that anti-corruption in domestic T20 leagues within India was a concern and the board was keeping a close eye on the developments.