Report on cricket match-fixing and related malpractises, October 2000
Central Bureau of Investigation, New Delhi
a) Genesis: In response to the request from Ministry of Sports regarding an inquiry into match-fixing and related malpractises in Indian cricket, vide DO No. F-23-8/2000-SP.III from Shri N N Khanna, Secretary, Ministry of Culture, Youth Affairs and Sports, CBI registered a Preliminary Enquiry No.2/S/2000 on 2.5.2000. The score of the PE is broadly limited to the letter of Shri N N Khanna in which there is a general mention of various allegations as they had appeared in the media as well as issues raised during a debate in both Houses of Parliament. The Ministry's letter further requests the CBI to collect and evaluate various news-items and information published in both the print and the electronic media and conduct a comprehensive enquiry into the allegations of match-fixing and related malpractises connected with the game of cricket.
b) Parameters: After registering the PE, CBI undertook an exercise to fix certain parameters, since the enquiry was open-ended without setting for itself any specific time-frame for which the probe was to be conducted or specific allegations or names which had to be looked into or specific areas which ahd to be enquired into. In this connection, it was decided that first of all, a broad enquiry was to be made to ascertain whether match-fixing and other malpractises connected with the game of cricket existed. Accordingly, the following corner-stones were fixed as focal points of this enquiry:
1) To identify the betting syndicates operating in India and examine their activities;
2) To unravel the linkages of cricket players or their intermediaries with these syndicates and their roles in the alleged malpractises; and
3) To examine the role and functions of the BCCI so as to evaluate whether it could have prevented the alleged malpractises.
c) Mechanics used:
i) All available overt and covert information about players, ex-players, bookies and middlemen whose names had figured in the various media reports and through sources developed by the CBI was shortlisted and all relevant facts regarding them including details of property, details of business associates, etc were collected.
ii) The general public were requested to come forth with information, if any, regarding match-fixing etc through appeals published and broadcast in the print and electronic media
iii) An intensive exercise was conducted to analyse telephone and mobile phone printouts to establish a player-bookie nexus, if any. In this exercise, thousands of pages of mobile phones and land line printouts including those of players, their relatives, associates, and bookies etc were analysed through a specially designed computer software. Details of telephone calls made by cricket players from their hotel rooms during the recent matches were also analysed.
iv) The tapes which were allegedly shot clandestinely by Tehelka.com along Manoj Prabhakar were also studied.
v) After collecting relevant material/evidence as listed above, individual players, past and present, officials and bookies were examined and they were confronted with evidence at hand which the CBI had gathered during its inquiry.
d) Match fixing: an interpretation of the terminology
Match fixing in this enquiry is used as an omnibus phrase to denote the following:
i) Instances where an individual player or group of players received money individually/collectively to underperform.
ii) Instances where a player placed bets in matches in which he played that would naturally undermine his performance.
iii) instances where players passed on information to a betting syndicate about team composition, probable result, pitch conditions, weather, etc.,
iv) Instances where groundsmen were given money to prepare a pitch in a way that suited the betting syndicates and
v) Instances of current and ex-players being used by bookies to gain access to Indian and foreign players to influence their performances for a monetary consideration.
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