“Sab fix hai. IPL mein har ek match fix hoti hai,” (Everything is fixed. Every single match in IPL is fixed). People often say such things. When one argues against these statements then that person often get the reply that players are professional enough for fixing the match. It is not difficult for them to hit a six on the last ball of the match or on any delivery asked by the fixer. Those who play cricket knows that it is not easy to hit a six on the last ball of the match or on any delivery asked by anyone. There is a technique of a batsman which contains strengths and weaknesses. And according to that technique, if the ball is in his hitting zone then batsman can hit it for a six or a four. Thus, such statements irritate true cricket fans.
‘IPL is fixed’ kind of statements are true in a way. It has been proved that fixing exists in IPL. Players have been caught spot-fixing the match. Not only players, even owners have been caught doing betting in IPL matches. Before discussing those instances, let’s understand what is spot-fixing?
What is Spot-fixing?
When a cricket player is asked to bowl a no-ball or hit a six at a particular point in a match and he is paid certain amount for doing that. That incident is called spot-fixing.
For example, a bowler is asked by a bookie or anyone else to bowl the second delivery of his second over a no-ball and he does that in exchange of certain amount then it is spot-fixing in cricket.
Spot-fixing is comparatively easy for the bowlers. A bowler is asked to bowl a ball in particular area, a no-ball or a wide ball. And it has been noted that mostly the bowlers are caught fixing the match.
First signs of spot-fixing
In 2012, a Hindi news channel conducted a sting operation. In which they approached players for fixing the match and changing the franchise. The news channel approached five players. TP Sudhindra, Shalabh Srivastava, Mohnish Mishra, Amit Yadav and Abhinav Bali. Surprisingly, all the players were ready to change the franchise. They were ready to go in the franchise which was ready to give more money to them. They didn’t care about BCCI’s guidelines. Players revealed that franchises offer black money to the domestic players. Players are given crores of rupees under the table. They took the names of some big players which were given money in form of gifts and cash.
TP Sudhindra and Shalabh Srivastava were even ready to fix the match. TP Sudhindra even fixed the match with them. News channel representatives cleared Sudhindra that they want to fix the spot in the tournaments he is going to play in the future. To start with, they asked Sudhindra to bowl a no-ball in the domestic tournament for fifty thousand rupees. He agreed and even bowled a no-ball as per the deal. He received fifty thousand for that and was ready to fix a spot in an IPL match as well. More than that, he wanted more money and was behind to crack a bigger deal with other franchises. BCCI handed him a life ban.
Shalabh Srivastav was also ready to bowl a no-ball for rupees ten lakhs. He too revealed that players are given lakhs of rupees under the table. Shalabh also claimed that BCCI is aware of the corruption. Shalabh was also ready to change the franchise which is against the guidelines of BCCI. He was handed a ban of five years by BCCI. The third one was Mohnish Mishra. He claimed that he received rupees one crore and forty-five lacs from his franchise. Out of that amount, he received thirty lacs (which was his signing amount) as white money and the remaining amount in black. He also wanted to go to the franchise offering rupees two crores to him.
Amit Yadav also attempted the similar kind of the deal. He was frustrated as he hasn’t played even a single match for two years in a franchise which he is part of. These three players were handed one year ban. This operation was conducted over the period of twelve months.
Spot-fixing and betting case in 2013
Police arrested Sreesanth, Ajit Chandila and Ankeet Chavan on the charges of spot-fixing. Along with them, Vindu Dara Singh and Gurunath Meiyappan were also arrested. They were arrested for betting and having links with bookies. As per the proofs, Ajit Chandila was the leader of the group. He was the one who was getting the players for the bookies in this scandal. It included seventeen-year-old Harmeet Singh as well. He was coming fresh from the under-19 world cup and had no idea about it. He was misled and was forcefully pulled in this scandal. Harmeet was taken to bookies by Chandila and he had no idea about it. It almost ended his IPL career. He hasn’t been seen playing in any franchise after that incident.
The reports claimed that Sreesanth used the white hand towel to give the signal to bookies that he is going to give the certain number of runs (in that over) asked by bookies. Hand towel was not there on his waist before bowling that expensive over. Thus, it looked like he used that towel to give signal to bookies. Sreesanth was given clean chit by the court later as there were not enough evidence against him. As per the proofs presented, it was clear that Ankeet Chavan was pulled in this scandal by Ajit Chandila.
Ankeet Chavan was asked to give at least thirteen runs in the second over of his spell. He agreed to it and gave fifteen runs in the second over of his spell. Ajit Chandila worked as a mediator between bookies and Ankeet Chavan. Ajit tried to pull other players as well in this scandal but he was unsuccessful in his effort.
The case in which Vindu Dara Singh and Gurunath Meiyappan were arrested, it went on to show that fixing exists in IPL. Along with them, it was found that the owner of Rajasthan Royals Raj Kundra also does betting in IPL matches. It was clear that if owners are betting on the IPL matches then they can force their players to do anything to win money. In spot-fixing case, a lot of bookies were also arrested along with players. The players were banned and the actions were taken against the bookies. There were rumours of involvement of other players but no-one else was arrested. Committees were appointed to purge cricket from corruption and Rajasthan Royals and Chennai Super Kings were suspended for two years.
Spot-fixing scandal not only disrepute the league, it also brought the shame to the nation. Big names were attached with both the franchises. They have had created their clean image over the years. It was an insult to them and the game. Above everything, it gave the perception to the people that each and every match in IPL is fixed.