Today marks the 4th anniversary of a dark day for Indian cricket. The IPL became popular not only for the high dose of entertainment it provides but also for the big controversies it generates. But on 16th May 2013, it got its biggest jolt when three Rajasthan Royals bowlers (Sreesanth, Ankeet Chavan and Ajit Chandila) and 11 bookies got arrested by the Delhi Police on the charges of spot-fixing during IPL matches.
Spot-fixing rears its ugly head
Chandila was charged for spot-fixing in a game against the SRH for which he was paid Rs. 1.5 crore by the bookies. Chavan, on the other hand, was offered Rs. 6 million if he agreed to concede 14 runs or more in an over during a match against the Mumbai Indians. The left-handed all-rounder went for 15 runs in an over of his spell. Sreesanth was also charged for taking 10 lakhs in advance to concede 14+ runs in an over against KXIP.
The franchise of the Rajasthan Royals suspended all the three players and BCCI later set up an inquiry into the matter. Further investigations exposed other illegal activity that was happening during that time (betting). Actor Vindu Dara Singh also got arrested due to links with the bookies. His statement further exposed Gurunath Meiyappan, the son-in-law of then BCCI president (Srinivasan) and one of the top officials of the team Chennai Super Kings.
Immense pressure was mounted on Srinivasan to quit as the BCCI president and finally, after months of speculation, he stepped down from the post. Raj Kundra, the co-owner of Rajasthan Royals also implicated in the betting scandal. Delhi Police eventually charge sheeted 39 persons along with the players while BCCI handed life bans to the three players after they were found guilty after the investigation.
Due to the involvement of top officials from both Rajasthan Royals and Chennai Superkings in 2015, a two-year ban was imposed on the teams. In May 2016, Sreesanth along with Chandila and Chavan were relieved of the charges due to lack of proper evidence against them but the BCCI did not remove their bans.