Mumbai: Sending out a strong signal against those guilty of corruption in the game, the BCCI today slapped a life ban on Ranji top wicket-taker T P Sudhindra while also handing varying degrees of punishments to four other players caught in the IPL spot-fixing scandal.
The decision to ban the players was taken by the BCCI's Disciplinary Committee, headed by its President N Srinivasan, which met to discuss the report submitted by the Board's Anti-Corruption Unit chief Ravi Sawani, who probed into the matter after an expose by a TV channel sting operation.
While the 28-year-old Sudhindra, the highest wicket taker (40 wickets) in the last Ranji Trophy season, was the worst hit as his career seems all but over, Shalabh Srivastava was banned for five years while Mohnish Mishra, Amit Yadav and Abhinav Bali were banned for a year each.
Sudhindra became the third Indian cricketer to be banned for life by the BCCI.
"The Committee held Sudhindra guilty of actually receiving a consideration to spot-fix in a domestic cricket match, and hence imposed exemplary penalty on him.
Sudhindra has been debarred for life, from playing any cricket matches conducted or authorised by the ICC or BCCI, or any affiliated unit of the BCCI," the Board said in a statement.
Sudhindra will not be entitled to the monthly gratis, benevolent fund, benefit match or any other facility offered to players by the BCCI. He also cannot hold any position in any cricket association affiliated to the BCCI for life.
"Shalabh Srivastava was held guilty of agreeing to fix a match and negotiate terms for the same, even though no actual match-fixing or spot fixing took place," the Board stated.
"He has been debarred for a period of five years, from playing any cricket matches conducted or authorised by the ICC or BCCI, or any affiliated unit of the BCCI," it added.
Like Sudhindra, he will also not be entitled to the monthly gratis, benevolent fund, benefit matches or any other facility, during this period.
Srivastava has also been barred from holding positions in any cricket association affiliated to the BCCI, for a period of five years.
"The (other) three players, through loose talk and unsubstantiated bragging, brought the game into disrepute, and hence, have been held guilty of the lesser offence," the Board explained.
"They have been debarred for a period of one year, from playing any cricket matches conducted or authorised by the ICC or BCCI, or any affiliated unit of the BCCI," it said.
The penalties will be effective from the date of the suspension of these players which was May 15.
The television sting operation had claimed that the players agreed to shadowy deals in the IPL and other matches.
Three of the five players -- Sudhindra, Mishra and Bali -- attended the meeting today to present their points of view before the panel whose other members are Board vice-presidents Arun Jaitely and Niranjan Shah.
Srivastava and Yadav pleaded their respective cases through tele-conference during the meeting.
The five uncapped players were allegedly caught indulging in corrupt practices, including spot-fixing, by a TV channel which conducted a sting operation during this year's IPL.
The channel -- India TV -- had claimed to have blown the lid off "murky deals" in the IPL among players, organisers, owners and big guns of Indian cricket.
The BCCI, as per its Rules and Regulations regarding misconduct of players, set up a commissioner (Sawani) to make a preliminary inquiry.
Sawani conducted the probe by calling for explanations from the players and few weeks back submitted his report to Srinivasan who, in turn, convened a meeting of disciplinary panel which took the decision after hearing the players' views, that is "final and binding", as per the Board's constitution.