x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

IPL: Spot-fixing charges false, says India fast bowler Sreesanth

In other news, Sahara Group pulls out of Pune Warriors sponsorship and eventually of India cricket team.

S Sreesanth, centre, says he has the faith in justice system in India and will clear his name of the spot-fixing charges. Prakash Singh / AFP
S Sreesanth, centre, says he has the faith in justice system in India and will clear his name of the spot-fixing charges. Prakash Singh / AFP

S Sreesanth, the Indian fast bowler, has denied his alleged role in spot-fixing in the Indian Premier League (IPL).

In his first public appearance since being arrested last week by Delhi police, Sreesanth on Wednesday said he was innocent and that his name would be cleared of any wrongdoing.

The Kerala-based cricketer, along with Ankeet Chavan and Ajit Chandila, was nabbed by police officials in Mumbai following an IPL game there. All three players are contracted with Rajasthan Royals, one of the nine franchises competing in the annual Twenty20 competition.

Several bookies were arrested as well.

"I am innocent and have done no wrong," Sreesanth said in a statement emailed by his lawyer, Rebecca John. "I have never indulged in any spot-fixing.

"As a cricketer, I have learnt to take knocks along with accolades, in my stride. I recognise that I am going through a tough period in my life. I have utmost faith in our judicial process and I am confident that with time I will be proved innocent, and my honour and dignity will be vindicated and restored."

Sreesanth, 30, has taken 87 wickets from 27 Tests, 75 wickets from 53 one-day internationals and seven dismissals across 10 Twenty20 matches.

The players were on Tuesday remanded for five days by a Delhi court. They have been charged under three laws of the Indian Penal Code – criminal breach of trust (which is a non-bailable offence), deal with fraud and cheating, and deals with criminal conspiracy.

Sahara Group leaves IPL

Sahara Group, which owns the Pune Warriors franchise, has pulled out of the IPL.

Sahara's announcement came after the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) – which owns and runs the IPL – encashed its bank guarantee for non-payment of franchise fee. Sahara had failed to pay Rs1.7 billion (Dh112.5 million) by last Sunday, but considered the BCCI's decision to encash the cheque down to a lack of trust.

The group of companies has also decided to discontinue its sponsorship of the India cricket team by the end of the year.

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