Fixer’s name was “FIXED”
It has now emerged that all speculation and allegations published in dubious websites followed by media reports that hastily quoted those websites without verification to sensationally name a Sri Lanka cricketer as a match fixer are nothing more than senationalized fiction.
A detailed new report on the incident from India published three days ago mentions clearly that the alleged incident had taken place more than six years ago in 2006 and not during the current IPL, as the rumour mongers hell-bent on destroying the image of Sri Lanka’s cricket and the young stars were not aware of.
The young Sri Lankan star named as the culprit who fixed matches for money was just an 18year old playing school cricket at the time when the alleged bribing took place.
“The probe has now moved to Delhi. A team from Mumbai Police left for Delhi on May 21. Their goal: Check the truth in Kothari's claim that he paid Rs.10 crore to a Sri Lankan cricketer to fix a one-day international match in 2006” said a report in the India Today newspaper on May 28.
The report also quoted Indian police as saying that they cannot name the Sri Lankan players as the allegation was still unverified.
"We cannot reveal the name of the Sri Lankan player. Investigations are still on," Mumbai Additional Commissioner of Police Vishwas Nangre-Patil told the newspaper.
It is nothing short of a stupendous achievement for the Sri Lankan media to find the name of the alleged match fixer when even the Indian media could not find it from Indian police.
This is how the report described the incident
“On May 17, when Chennai Super Kings was taking on Kings XI Punjab, Arun Chavan, head of Mumbai Police's Property Cell, arrested two well-known bookies from a Lokhandwala flat. Devendra Kothari, 42, and Sonu Jalan, 30, were taking bets on the crucial match. Both were arrested immediately and 20 mobile handsets, a dozen SIM cards, two laptops, two voice recorders and an LCD T recovered. They led the police to another bookie, Mohammad Feroze Ansari, 38, from Nagpada in Mumbai. On May 19, the police arrested him too”.
There indeed was a verified connection between the arrested bookies and Sri Lanka. But it did not involve a Sri Lanka player who fixed matches for money.
According to the report, In Delhi, the police confirmed that Kothari and Jalan were part of a global betting racket and among 170 suspects scheduled to visit Sri Lanka to fix matches.
"There was to be a meeting in Colombo in anticipation of the fourth T20 World Cup which will take place in Sri Lanka. But it was cancelled," Brijesh Kumar Gupta, Delhi's police commissioner had told the newspaper.
The report added that the police's suspicions about a Colombo meeting were confirmed when a woman they picked up on May 19 from Delhi for possessing cocaine confessed to her involvement in the betting racket and said she was to travel to Colombo.
On May 24, Delhi Police busted a betting racket in west Delhi, unearthing a mini-telephone exchange comprising 113 lines used for transmitting information about rates to over 300 betting syndicates across India.
Sri Lanka Cricket Secretary Nishantha Ranatunga told “Daily Mirror” that SLC has inquired from their Indian counterparts about the authenticity of the allegations as SLC was keen to safeguard the image of the country and has been assured that there is no cause for alarm as yet while there are no players named.
By Channaka De Silva