Are IPL matches fixed? Indian TV channel sting raises furore

India's cricket board called an emergency meeting

The Indian Premier League (IPL) has been rocked by spot-fixing allegations following a sting operation by an Indian TV channel.

India TV on Monday claimed to have blown the lid off "murky deals" in the ongoing IPL among players, organisers, owners and big guns of Indian cricket, according to reports.

The channel claimed it had done a sting operation in which many players confessed on hidden camera they get much more than their prescribed auction under the table.

According to the channel, its operation also revealed that spot-fixing is not only prevalent in IPL but also that first class matches are fixed and women played an important role in match-fixing.

Superstars of Indian cricket and even an international player, who is a captain of one of the teams, are involved in fixing the matches, the channel alleged in a statement.

India's cricket board called an emergency meeting on Tuesday warning that tough action would be taken if the report is found to be true.

The Hindi-language India TV channel showed a local player contracted with an IPL team allegedly agreeing to bowl pre-arranged no-balls in a domestic match, with another boasting he could do it in the IPL too.

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) said it would not tolerate corruption at any level and has asked to see the video footage before taking a decision.

"We will ensure that the integrity of the game is protected," BCCI president Narayanaswami Srinivasan was quoted as saying by the Press Trust of India news agency.

"The BCCI believes in the integrity of the game. We will have to see the tapes and the moment we see it, whoever is the player, we will take very strict action."

BCCI secretary Sanjay Jagdale added the IPL's governing council will meet on "an emergency basis" to review the footage.

India TV reporters, posing as sports agents offering lucrative contracts, claimed they had bribed Deccan Chargers bowler T.P. Sudhindra into sending down a no-ball in a local match in his home city of Indore.

The channel said it had also taped Kings XI Punjab seamer Shalabh Srivastava telling the reporters that he could bowl a no-ball in the IPL if he was paid one million rupees (about $18,500).

Srivastava, 30, who has played two seasons of first-class cricket for Uttar Pradesh, denied the charge and threatened to take the TV channel to court.

"The voice which suggests that I am ready to spot-fix is not mine," he told the Indian Express newspaper. "I am ready to clarify this to the BCCI, my team owners and the IPL governing council."

"I will definitely file a case against them."

Another Kings XI Punjab player Amit Yadav reportedly said he had reason to believe that last season's IPL match against Delhi Daredevils was fixed, but could not substantiate his claim.
 

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