Spot-fixing case should have been investigated by police: Azad

New Delhi: Former India cricketer Kirti Azad on Wednesday questioned the BCCI`s logic behind setting up an inquiry commission to probe the spot-fixing scandal that had rocked IPL-5, saying police should have investigated the matter.

Azad said the BCCI has no authority to conduct a criminal investigation on its own and the five players should have been booked by police for their involvement in spot-fixing.

"Why were the five players caught not booked? BCCI is no authority to conduct criminal investigation. The police should have handled such a matter," said Azad at a FICCI conference on regulating sports betting here.

"Before regulating betting, one should regulate sports associations first. That is where the Government is losing out a lot of income through taxes," he added.

BCCI had suspended five uncapped Indian players pending completion of an inquiry after a television sting operation claimed to have exposed corruption in the cash-rich IPL.

The cricket board ordered a preliminary inquiry into the incident by Ravi Sawani, the former chief of the ICC`s Anti-Corruption Unit, who is now heading the BCCI`s newly set-up Anti-Corruption Unit.

The five players are TP Sudhindra (Deccan Chargers), Mohnish Mishra (Pune Warriors), Amit Yadav (Kings XI Punjab), Shalabh Srivastava (Kings XI Punjab) and Abhinav Bali, a Delhi cricketer, who now represents Himachal Pradesh.

Azad, a vocal critic of IPL, sat on a hunger strike outside the Feroz Shah Kotla ground here on May 20, demanding that the IPL, which has been a hit by a series a controversies, be scrapped.

Retired Justice Mukul Mudgal, who was also present at the function said, "Around 20,000 crore could be earned through taxes per annum if betting is legalised."


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