IPL fixing scandal: Demands for fresh probe grow

Updated: Feb 26, 2014, 10:22 AM IST

Zee Media Bureau

New Delhi: The demands for re-investigation into the Indian Premier League fixing scandal have been increasing from all quarters, following the startling revelations made by Bollywood actor Vindu Dara Singh to Zee Media Corp.

Maharashtra Home Minister RR Patil on Tuesday ordered a re-investigation into the Indian Premier League fixing scandal after Vindu, who was also named in the IPL match-fixing scandal of 2013, made surprising revelations in the case and alleged that some high and mighty from the arena of Indian sports and politics were involved in instances of betting and match-fixing.

Patil also said that Vindu should also be interrogated in the matter again.

Talking exclusively to Zee Media Corp, Vindu revealed that the entire IPL match-fixing fiasco was actually a tussle between Union Agriculture Minister and NCP chief Sharad Pawar and BCCI president N Srinivasan.

Former IPL commissioner Lalit Modi also reacted over the report and messaged to Zee Media, in which he demanded a CBI investigation into the matter. The sacked IPL commissioner also raised questions over the intentions of the International Cricket Council (ICC) and Anti Corruption and Security Unit (ACSU), as he wrote ``what are ICC and ACSV are doing in the matter?``

Delhi Police, which has already interrogated the matter, also stated that if required the re-investigation into the matter should be done.

Meanwhile, Mumbai police has also decided to re-investigate the entire IPL-fixing matter and stated that Vindu will be interrogated once again.

Here are a few excerpts from Vindu Dara Singh`s conversation with a Zee Media Corp reporter.

Vindu has claimed that the real tug of war was between former IPL commissioner Lalit Modi and Srinivasan—and Pawar was backing Modi. Naming several others, Vindu claims that he was just a small fry in the melee.
Vindu: This entire case is actually a tussle between Modi and Srinivasan. We have nothing to do with it. We did nothing....but were still dragged into it.
Vindu further alleges that Lalit Modi was looking to even scores with Srinivasan. And the match-fixing episode involved some biggies.

Vindu: Lalit Modi just needed a chance to get Srinivasan out.

Vindu claims that for a minor offence (like betting, which attracts a small fine) he was kept behind bars—just because he was the medium to catch bigger fish like Srinivasan.
Reporter: Did they trouble you a lot during interrogation?
Vindu: Not much, they (cops) said, `We know you haven`t done anything, but there`s pressure from Sharad Pawar sahab and until Srinivasan isn`t nabbed you will have to stay. You will have to stay here for 10-15 days or a month`.
Vindu: (Sharad) Pawar sahab did all this. We`re nothing in his comparison...we`re ants. We just have to stay quiet.

Reporter: I`m still confused...Lalit Modi had to trap Srinivasan...but why through you?
Vindu: Gurunath is Srinivasan`s son-in-law. If anything is proved against Guru then....

Vindu claims that Gurunath Meiyappan lost a huge bet he had placed and then asserts that the entire IPL is a fixed affair.
Reporter: As a common man I want to know—is this all fixed?
Vindu: It is 100 per cent fixed.

Vindu has made sensation claims against liquor baron Vijay Mallya too, claiming that he of all the IPL team owners is the only one aware and actively involved in betting.
Reporter: Do the team owners know all this?
Vindu: Barring Vijay Mallya nobody knows anything. Mallya is himself involved in betting, he earns 100-200 crores in IPL.

Vindu also claimed to know of actors from the film industry who place bets, but none fixed matches according to him.
Vindu: The entire Bollywood places bets, but they are not involved in match fixing.

Vindu says that the money that players can earn from fixing is too big an allure for them.
Reporter: How did the players get ready (to fix)?
Vindu: These people can easily pay player 14-15 crores rupees, which they can`t get by playing for India. There they get a lakh or Rs 25,000 per match; they`ve never seen 14-15 crores rupees. They know crowd needs to come (to watch the games) and the entire world should tune into our matches.

The fixing isn`t just limited to the T20 league, says Vindu and says that players form a bond during the IPL and then go on to alter the courses of international games for monetary benefit.
Reporter: The players that fix IPL matches, do they also fix international games?
Vindu: IPL has brought everyone close. All players — (Shane) Watson, Smith, (Ricky) Ponting — are sleeping in one room, friendship develops; then it has to happen.

Surprisingly, Vindu says that the banned cricketer S Sreesanth could not have been involved in fixing matches. And he gives reasons to back his assertions.
Reporter: But the negative coverage about Sreesanth was pretty bad.
Vindu: Supposing I am Sreesanth—if I have to give away 14 runs in an over—I will give away two boundaries in the first two deliveries, only then can 14 runs be scored. But he gave only six runs off his first four deliveries—is there a guarantee that two boundaries will be scored off the last two balls? All these allegations against Sreesanth are rubbish, fraud; I will say he is 100 per cent not guilty.

The Indian Premier League in its entirety is Lalit Modi`s brainchild, tells Vindu. Modi had gotten the nod for IPL from the then BCCI president Sharad Pawar.
Vindu: Lalit Modi went to `SP` with the idea. Modi said he had planned a tournament that was `rocking`, people would go crazy and praise him. Pawar was impressed and agreed to the plan. Pawar assured Modi that no one would `disturb` him.

Vindu claims that Modi got in trouble after he rubbed Congress leader Shashi Tharoor the wrong way. The rivalry between Tharoor and Lalit Modi turned into a full-blown war between NCP and Congress with Sharad Pawar throwing his weight behind Modi.
Vindu: (In 2009) Government asked Modi to cancel the IPL that year due to elections. But Modi had become so powerful that he overrode it all and said I will hold an IPL—outside India. They warned Modi that there could be problems, but he took the IPL to South Africa and siphoned thousands of crores of rupees. When the hotel bills came up to one lakh dollars he blew it to two lakhs and pocketed the difference. South Africa earned the money that India could`ve made.
Vindu: Modi alleged that Shashi Tharoor had invested money in IPL and made Tharoor resign. Modi knew everything, he himself has partnership in four teams. Modi blackmails. After he was exposed, Congress went after Modi. And Sharad Pawar backed Modi to the fullest. But the `real` Congress sidelined the NCP.

No one can take on Sharad Pawar and survive, says Vindu, alleging that the NCP chief could even shut down media houses if he wanted.
Vindu: Sharad Pawar is a `great` man. These people are challenging him and we are getting dragged into it. Can anyone take up the gauntlet against him in Maharashtra and survive? Today you (media) are taking the fight to him — he can shut your channel.

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