KSCA man arrested, actors under lens in KPL scam

Police also suspect the role of several young actors and models in the scandal.

More skeletons tumbled out of the Karnataka Premier League (KPL) closet on Wednesday with the Central Crime Branch (CCB) arresting Karnataka State Cricket Association (KSCA) management committee member Sudhindra Shinde in connection with the match-fixing and betting scam.

Police also suspect the role of several young actors and models in the scandal. 

City Police Commissioner Bhaskar Rao said the CCB is investigating the Sandalwood angle as several actors and models were seen interacting with players during the post-match late-night parties at star hotels.

Investigations have revealed that a few actors were in touch with the players and those arrested in the case. 

The commissioner also appealed to those involved in the betting scam to turn an approver and approach
the CCB. “They will not be arrested but they will help us in the investigation and take the case to its logical conclusion,” he said.  

CCB sleuths had raided Shinde’s house on Monday and found digital evidence, following which he was called for questioning on Tuesday and arrested on Wednesday.

Being a KSCA managing committee member, Shinde had more responsibilities but he misused his power, said Rao.

Sandeep Patil, Joint Commissioner of Police (Crime), said that Shinde, a former Karnataka batsman, was running the ‘Social Cricketers’ club in Jayanagar. In 2017, Ali Asfak Thara, the owner of Belagavi Panthers who was the first to be arrested in the case, joined Shinde’s club and started to sponsor them. Ali and Shinde gradually turned to match-fixing. The duo made other KPL owners pick players from their club and used them to fix matches.

The KSCA said Shinde will not be part of any of its managing committee meetings till the investigation is over.

The CCB had earlier taken into custody former Karnataka captain and wicket-keeper C M Gautam and all-rounder Abrar Kazi in the scandal that rocked state cricket.

Big fish in CCB net

Sudhindra Shinde, a former Karnataka batsman, became the management committee member in the Institutional Member category (Raichur zone) in the KSCA elections held on October 3. In this KPL season, Shinde was the coach of Belagavi Panthers. He previously coached Bijapur Bulls who won the league twice (2015-16, 2018-19).

After making his Ranji Trophy debut in 2007, Shinde played 18 first-class matches (717 runs) and one List A game. The 39-year-old has coached the Karnataka U-19 and U-23 teams.

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