x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Teammate blows whistle on Rajasthan Royals spot-fixing accused trio

Sidharth Trivedi says he was approached even as two BCCI officials resign in protest of their stubborn president.

In the aftermath of the spot-fixing scandal in the Indian Premier League, two Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) officials resigned yesterday as pressure grew on the president N Srinivasan to do the same.

Police officials claim mounting evidence against Srinivasan's son-in-law, Gurunath Meiyappan, three Rajasthan Royals players and Vindoo Randhawa, a film actor and an alleged conduit between bookies and the cricketers.

Ajay Shirke and Sanjay Jagdale, the BCCI treasurer and secretary, put in their papers even as the Indian cricket board announced a working-committee meeting on June 8 to discuss the issue.

"I am deeply hurt with the recent developments in Indian cricket," Jagdale said in a television interview. "Let some new faces come and take the responsibility."

Shirke, who had hinted on Thursday that he might resign because of his sadness at the developments, did not want to talk in detail.

The severity of the issue grew further with two more developments.

Sidharth Trivedi, a teammate of the Royals trio, reached Delhi and has submitted a statement saying he and teammate Kevon Cooper, the West Indies player, were several times approached by the indicted players to rig games.

There were fresh claims also that the International Cricket Council had sent an email to the BCCI, warning them of information of fixing approaches but were ignored. Srinivasan denied the claim yesterday and insisting, before his two colleagues resigned, that the board was in support of him continuing as president.

MS Dhoni, the India captain, evaded questions when leaving the country for the Champions Trophy and also on arrival in England. Meiyappan has links to Dhoni's IPL franchise, the Chennai Super Kings.

Meanwhile, Sachin Tendulkar called for Indian cricket to unite against corruption. He said it hurts him when cricket is in the news for the wrong reasons.

He said: "The developments in the last two weeks have been shocking and disappointing. As cricketers we are always taught to go out, fight hard, give our very best and play in the true spirit of the game …

"I join every cricketer, from the boys in the [parks] across the country to those who represent clubs, states and the country, who trust the authorities to take sincere steps to get to the root of the issue. The faith reposed by the millions of fans should be justified and we owe it to them to ensure that Indian cricket is all about pride and joy."