Bengaluru, November 7: The Central Crime Branch on Thursday (November 7) arrested two top domestic players from Karnataka - CM Gautam and Abrar Kazi of Bellary Tuskers - in connection with their alleged involvement in Karnataka Premier League (KPL) fixing.
Gautam was Tuskers captain and wicketkeeper while Kazi is an all-rounder. In fact, Gautam had moved out of Karnataka ahead of this domestic season to play for Goa while Kazi is now playing for Mizoram.
The police stated that Gautam and Kazi were given Rs 20 lakh for batting slow in the KPL final between Tuskers and Hubli Tigers. The officials said more arrests are likely to take place in the days to come and the investigation is progressing smoothly and on target.
Gautam has also played in the Indian Premier League for Royal Challengers Bangalore, Mumbai Indians and Delhi Daredevils. Gautam has played 94 First-Class matches scoring 4716 runs at 41.4 with 10 hundreds and 24 fifties and was an integral part of the Karnataka side that won the domestic treble two years in a row in 2013-14 and 2014-15.
On the contrary, Kazi played for Nagaland last season before shifting to Mizoram and both of them have named in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy, beginning on Friday, squads of their respective states. The Mizoram cricket association officials, when contacted, said Kazi had left for Bengaluru a couple of days ago and they are closely watching the events unfolding.
The arrest of Gautam and Kazi came as the latest in a series of nabbing in connection with the KPL fixing as Nishant Singh Shekhawat was arrested last week after the sleuths took Bengaluru Blasters players Vinu Prasad and M Viswanath into custody. Earlier, Ashfaq Ali Thara, owner of Belagavi Panthers, too was arrested in September in connection with the KPL fixing scandal.
The BCCI's anti-corruption unit too is watching the chain of events closely and is in contact with the Karnataka State Cricket Association (KSCA).