No KPL Matches Till Betting Probe is Completed: Official
The next edition of the Karnataka Premier League (KPL) would not be held till the investigation into the multi-crore betting scam is completed by the police, an official said on Thursday, 22 November.
"We will definitely not conduct the KPL tournament matches till the investigation is completed and the final report from the police comes out," Karnataka State Cricket Association (KSCA) treasurer Vinay Mruthyunjaya told IANS.
Meanwhile, Bengaluru police has served a notice on the cricket association seeking extensive information on the T20 tournament in the light of major controversies engulfing the league.
"The police asked for a lot of information pertaining to KPL tournament, teams, scorecards, video footage of all the matches, details of all the players, phone numbers," Mruthyunjaya said.
The KSCA treasurer has claimed that neither the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) nor the state association had any inkling of the betting, honey traps, bookie- funded foreign holidays and spot-fixing scandals plaguing the BCCI approved local T20 league.
"We will check up, we did not have any formidable information in this regard. Let me discuss with our officers also," Mruthyunjaya said regarding allegations that the intra-state league cricketers are making more money via spot-fixing than the official match fees.
"We would not know, police would be knowing. KSCA never employs cheer girls, the teams employ the cheer girls," added Mruthyunjaya.
Sandeep Patil, joint commissioner of central crime branch heading the KPL betting investigation, declined to confirm to IANS if any of the girls involved in the honey trapping have been identified.
"I cannot tell anything right now, once the things are clear, I will let you know," Patil said.
Meanwhile, a local media report quoted Bengaluru police commissioner Bhaskar Rao saying bookies and fixers honey trapped cricketers and recorded their private moments.
According to Rao, paid holidays were also arranged for cricketers to Dubai and the Caribbean in luxury hotels.
Earlier, police issued a lookout circular against former Bellary Tuskers' owner Arvind Venkatesha Reddy, suspected to have fled overseas for his involvement in the KPL betting scam.
Since the investigation began after Belagavi Panthers' owner Asfaq Ali Thara was arrested on 25 September, six persons have been taken into custody - Gautam, Kazi, Nishant Singh Shekawat and Vishwanathan of Bengaluru Blasters, their bowling coach Vinu Prasad and Tuskers drummer Bhuvenash Bafna.
Police also arrested Haryana-based bookie Sayyam for his role in the old J.P. Nagar case, related to the KPL betting scam.
Started in 2008, and functioning as a feeder tournament to the IPL, KPL has emerged as a leading local franchise-based league with BCCI approval. KPL also provides a platform to tap the Karnataka hinterland cricket talent. As many as 16 KPL players are featured in the IPL.
The KPL tournament for 2019 was held from 16-31 August.
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