KPL fixing: Blow to Kerala Knights

Bellary Tuskers team captain C M Gautum and player Abrar Kazi were arrested after the detailed interrogation and findings that both were involved in the spot fixing during KPL 2019 final match between Hubli Vs Bellary. They were paid Rs 20 lakh for slow batting and for other things. Also duo fixed another match against Bengaluru team in the KPL. (DH Photo)

Kerala Knights has been excluded from the T10-League to be held in Abu Dhabi from November 15 following the team’s link to suspended Belagavi Panthers’ owner Ali Asfak Thara.

The CCB had written to KSCA which had in turn informed the BCCI about Thara’s involvement in corrupt practices in the KPL T20 league. The Emirates Cricket Board, the administrators of T10 League, decided to oust Kerala Knights, of which Thara was a co-owner, from the league. The team has now been replaced by Karnataka Tuskers which will be led by former South Africa opener Hashim Amla.

“We are on the lookout for two more individuals, including Aravind Reddy (who is linked to Bellary Tuskers) and Amit Mavi in the case , and soon they will be arrested. It is suspected that the entire KPL-2019 league is mired in fixing,” the senior police officer said.

During interrogation, Gautam and Kazi had confessed they did spot-fixing in the August 22 match at the Chinnaswamy stadium against Bengaluru Blasters and in the August 31 KPL final against Hubli Tigers in Mysuru.

Kerala Knights were the winners of the inaugural season in 2017 when they were referred to as the Kerala Kings.  

A senior police officer of the CCB Special Enquires told DH that after the arrest of Ali in September in connection with KPL fixing and betting, it was found during the interrogation that he had close links with Kerala Knights’ team who were to take part in the Abu Dhabi T-10 league this season. However, upon BCCI’s missive to ICC, whose head quarters is in Dubai, the international body refused permission to the team to participate in the tournament. 

The investigation into KPL scandal has further revealed that Thara had roped in many players including former Karnataka captain C M Gautam and his Bellary Tuskers’ team-mate Abrar Kazi, who were arrested on Thursday for their alleged involvement in spot-fixing for cash.

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