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Volume 6 No. 216
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Rajasthan Royals Owner Kundra Admits Involvement In Indian Premier League Betting

Delhi Police on Thursday said that Indian Premier League team Rajasthan Royals Owner Raj Kundra "has admitted placing bets on his IPL team through a bookie-friend," and that it was probing whether his actress-wife Shilpa Shetty was also into betting, according to Devesh Pandey of THE HINDU. Investigators also claimed that Kundra told them that he lost around Rs one crore ($175,690) in the past three years "in betting in IPL matches." However, police said that "they have no evidence yet to implicate Kundra in fixing matches." Kundra, a British national, was questioned for 11 hours Wednesday after cricketer Sidharth Trivedi "told police that his business partner-friend Umesh Goenka used to ask for information regarding team formation and pitches." Delhi Police Commissioner Neeraj Kumar said, "He (Kundra) has admitted to betting. He used to bet on his own team. We have also come to know that he has lost a lot of money in betting. He used to bet through Goenka, who is also a bookie" (THE HINDU, 6/6). NDTV's Tanima Biswas wrote sources said the Delhi Police is unlikely to book Kundra for gambling, "which is a bailable offence." The police said that "it wants to focus on establishing links between bookies and underworld don Dawood Ibrahim's crime syndicate or 'D Company'" (NDTV, 6/6). In N.Y., Romit Guha wrote in addition to his co-ownership of the Rajasthan Royals, "Kundra has stakes in several Indian companies, including entertainment firm Essential Sports and Media Pvt. Ltd., interior design and construction company Kundra & Kundra, and Ashwini Steel Pvt. Ltd." The Board of Control for Cricket in India could suspend Kundra "from any activity related to the sport for as long as five years if he is found guilty of betting" (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 6/6).

TWEETING INNOCENT: In Mumbai, Bharti Dubey wrote Shetty "has denied her involvement in IPL betting." The actor tweeted: "For those who care,my apparent involvement in betting is complete nonsense nd I have never bet on any cricket match ever.Truth will prevail." She added, "We love cricket, it's the passion for the sport that made us a part of IPL. It's extremely disheartening to keep clarifying that." Shetty also "came out in defence" of her husband Kundra. Earlier, "a bookie allegedly named her for placing bets." Reacting to this, the actor tweeted: "RR owners we are wronged and have Not done anything Wrong!! its been very upsetting.." (TIMES OF INDIA, 6/6). The BBC reported police investigating allegations of spot-fixing in the IPL cricket tournament said that "they have seized" Kundra's passport (BBC, 6/6).

EMERGENCY MEETING: The PTI reported rattled by betting charges against Kundra, the BCCI on Thursday "convened an Emergent Working Committee meeting in New Delhi on June 10 to discuss the issue and 'take action if required.'" BCCI Working Group Chief Jagmohan Dalmiya said that "the entire issue of Raj Kundra's alleged involvement in betting will come up for discussion at the meeting." The veteran administrator also said that Baroda Cricket Association's Sanjay Patel "will be the new BCCI secretary while the post of the treasurer will be announced later." He also said that no BCCI member will be part of the inquiry commission, and the two retired high court judges T. Jayaram Chouta and R. Balasubramaniam "will form the two-member commission to probe allegations against the BCCI President N. Srinivasan 's son-in-law Gurunath Meiyappan" and the Chennai Super Kings (PTI, 6/6). Former BCCI Secretary Sanjay Jagdale on Thursday expressed shock over Kundra's admission to betting in T20 matches, and said that it further "shakes faith of the fans in the sport." Jagdale: "It (betting) is morally wrong since you're owning a team. Such things are not good for cricket and not good for IPL" (PTI, 6/6).

WEDDING BREAK: The PTI also reported suspended cricketer Ankeet Chavan, an accused in the IPL spot-fixing scandal, "surrendered before a Delhi court on Thursday on expiry of the one-week interim bail he was granted to solemnise his marriage" (PTI, 6/6). In a separate piece, the PTI reported former IPL Commissioner Lalit Modi on Thursday "suggested that the upcoming Champions League T20 and next year's IPL should be put 'on hold' till the time the sport is completely free of corruption." Modi tweeted: "IPL 7 and current upcoming CL should be put on hold till full and complete cleansing of BCCI and IPL is done. One cannot continue to take fans for a ride" (PTI, 6/6).

SRI LANKA TAKES ACTION: The PTI also reported the Sri Lankan government "is mulling to bring a tough anti-corruption law against unfair practices in sports in the wake of spot-fixing scandals in the IPL and Bangladesh Premier League." Sri Lankan Sports Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage said, "We are bringing a law against fixing and are working on its draft. It will have strict provisions like life ban if anyone found guilty of fixing. I will send the draft to the cabinet and after its approval, it will be passed by the Parliament. The whole process will take around six months" (PTI, 6/6).