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KPL: Belagavi Panthers owner arrested in betting scam, more under police radar

KPL: Belagavi Panthers owner arrested in betting scam (Picture only for representation)

Bengaluru, September 25: Ashfaq Ali Thara, the owner of a Karnataka Premier League (KPL) team Belagavi Panthers, was arrested in Bengaluru in connection with an alleged international cricket betting scandal, police said.

The police claimed to have busted an international cricket betting scandal with his arrest. Ali, they said, had placed bets on matches with a Dubai based bookie. The arrest has been made by Central Crime Branch (CCB).

"Regarding match fixing, it is still under enquiry. Ali was in touch with players of other teams during KPL," Bengaluru joint commissioner of police Sandeep Patil said in a statement.

Players of other teams have also been summoned for questioning, he said. But so far, no in-depth interrogation has been made as per sources.

"The anti-corruption unit of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) alerted the police, following which the CCB took up a probe," The Hindu quoted a source close to the investigation process.

Trouble in TNPL

The Tamil Nadu Premier League (TNPL) has also run into troubled waters with a few first-class cricketers and a couple of coaches coming under the BCCI Anti-Corruption Unit''s scanner for suspected match-fixing.

BCCI''s ACU chief Ajit Singh, however, ruled out the possibility of any international player being a suspect. The TNPL, owned by the Tamil Nadu Cricket Association, started in 2016 and features eight franchises.

"Some players have reported that they received WhatsApp messages from certain unknown people. We are trying to find out who those people are. We have recorded the statements of the players and we will try to track the senders of the messages,," he told reporters here.

"There is no international player...any player who has got the message, he is supposed to report it to us, it''s part of his obligation," he added.

While no names have been revealed yet, allegations of match-fixing have emerged and are being related to one particular mid-table franchise in the TNPL, which many believe has gained notoriety over the past couple of years.

"This franchise finished among the last three in the eight-team TNPL table. There are a lot of grey areas related to their ownership patterns. Their choice of players and coaches has also not been above board," a BCCI source told PTI on conditions of anonymity.

In fact, there is one lesser-known coach, whose role could come under the scanner. The particular coach has earlier also been involved with franchises with suspect dealings.

"Nothing can be ruled out. There is one coach, who was related with a tainted IPL franchise, later coached a Ranji team and was, for one season, related to a TNPL franchise that is under the scanner," the BCCI source said.

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Story first published: Wednesday, September 25, 2019, 12:27 [IST]
Other articles published on Sep 25, 2019