Bengaluru, December 20: Karnataka State Cricket Association (KSCA) on Friday (December 20) suspended five Karnataka players and a coach for their involvement in the Karnataka Premier League (KPL) fixing scam.
The four players, CM Gautam, Abrar Kazi, Viswanathan M, Nishant Shekhawat, and coach Vinoo Prasad have been arrested by Karnataka Police and are being grilled. The KSCA has also suspended cricketer Bhavesh Gulecha for not informing the authorities about the illegal approaches made to him.
In a statement released on Friday (December 20), the KSCA confirmed the above-mentioned people have been suspended from all sorts of cricketing activity organised by it. They are also prohibited from availing any services in the KSCA Sports Centre.
KSCA also directed Sudhindra Shinde, former Karnataka Ranji player and former coach of Belagavi Panthers, not to attend any meetings as the member of the Managing Committee nor participate in any cricket-related activities organised by the state body.
Shinde, who was arrested by the Central Crime Branch in connection with the match-fixing scandal on December 4, became a Managing Committee member in October.
The KSCA has already suspended Mr and Mrs Asfak Ali Thara, owners of KPL franchise Belagavi Panthers, based on the initial investigation report. If found guilty the franchise will be terminated.
On Aravind Reddy, who has been called for questioning by the investigating authorities, the KSCA statement said that it has, with effect from 18th January 2019, refused to accept his appointment as the authorised representative/authorised signatory for the Ballari Tuskers franchise and the Ballari Tuskers Cricket Team.
In the communique released by KSCA Honorary Secretary, Roger Binny, said, "The KSCA has been extending its full cooperation to the Central Crime Branch (CCB) investigating authorities to ensure that the cricket tournaments would remain fair, transparent and free of any corrupt practices. KSCA cannot condone any illegal activity such as betting, spot-fixing, etc. KSCA cannot condone any illegal acts by anyone connected to cricket in Karnataka and hence, has been taking action with regard to those players and others who had been arrested by the police.
"The decisions taken by the KSCA regarding the above players and others will be reconsidered only after the investigation is complete. In case any of them are found guilty, appropriate and stringent action will be taken immediately. The KSCA would like to take this opportunity to assure as to its cricket fans and all other stakeholders in cricket that it will continue to do everything possible to ensure that cricket will remain fair and transparent."