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Rajasthan Royals co-owner plays down police claim in spot-fixing row

Police say Raj Kundra lost a lot of money in the IPL by betting through his business partner, a bookie.

Raj Kundra, left, has been arrested by Delhi police. AFP
Raj Kundra, left, has been arrested by Delhi police. AFP

NEW DELHI // Indian police say a co-owner of Indian Premier League (IPL) franchise Rajasthan Royals has admitted to betting on his team in the tournament.

"During questioning, we found that Raj Kundra used to bet on his own team," Delhi Police chief Neeraj Kumar said. "We also found out that he lost a lot of money in the IPL through his business partner, Umesh Goenka, who is also a bookie."

Kundra was questioned by police during investigations into a spot-fixing scandal that has led to the arrest of Rajasthan players Shantakumaran Sreesanth, Ajit Chandila and Ankeet Chavan.

Betting is illegal in India and any team official involved in the practice can be suspended under IPL rules.

Sidharth Trivedi, another Rajasthan player, has also been questioned by police. However, Kundra and Trivedi have not been arrested.

Kundra, a British national who is married to Indian film actress Shilpa Shetty, said speculation of his involvement in spot-fixing was wrong.

"Good morning woke up to news raj kundra faces the heat...yes it's very hot in Mumbai," Kundra wrote on Twitter.

"Media has misconstrued everything using unreliable sources. Try speaking to the main guys at crime branch. Why does media hype things and make such stupid claims to sell news."

Chennai Super Kings team principal Gurunath Meiyappan, who is the son-in-law of Board of Control for Cricket in India president Narainswamy Srinivasan, was also arrested last month in the spot-fixing case, but released on bail Wednesday.

Srinivasan, considered the most powerful man in world cricket, stepped aside from his post, pending investigations into Meiyappan's alleged involvement in any fixing.

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