New Delhi: Ajit Chandila was allegedly paid Rs 12 lakh by a bookie for spot-fixing in last year's IPL but the attempt to manipulate matches failed as the cricketer could not play many matches, Delhi Police sources claimed on Thursday. Interestingly, the sources said, Chandila gave three cheques of Rs 4 lakh each, two of which bounced, after the alleged bookie-cum-fixer Sunil Bhatia insisted on repayment of the money as he did not deliver as promised under the deal.
The sources also said police has issued Look Out Notices against some persons in connection with the spot-fixing scandal besides asking official broadcaster Set Max to provide raw footage of all matches involving Rajasthan Royals. Investigators claimed that Bhatia paid the money to the off-spinner in 2012 and after he could not act according to the fixers, the player was asked to return the money. Chandila, the sources claimed, could play only three to four matches in 2012 and that was why he could not do spot-fixing.
Bhatia, they said, wanted Chandila to return the money. The player then gave three cheques of Rs four lakh each to the alleged bookie but the ones dates December 10, 2012 and February 10, 2013 bounced. However, sources said, the third one was encashed and that they have recovered the two bounced cheques from Bhatia.
Meanwhile, police said after the May 9 match, Sreesanth, in an inebriated state, fought with his coach for not including him in the team.
"It was arrested player Babu Rao Yadav who introduced Chandila to Bhatia. After getting a hattrick in 2012, it was clear that he would play more matches. So the bookie approached him this time again," a senior police official said.
On Sreesanth, the official said, the pacer fought with coach Paddy Upton under the influence of alcohol for not including him in the playing team after the May 9 match in which police claimed that he indulged in spot-fixing. "He consumed alcohol and fought with the coach after he was excluded from the team after the May 9 match. For this, he was suspended from the team. That was why he was not staying in Hotel Trident where players were staying. He separately booked into Hotel Safotil," the official said.
The official said they were also verifying whether Chandila bought properties in the last two years. On the role of other players, including foreigners, he said they were "hoping to proceed" further and the investigations were still "wide open". However, he added that they have nothing concrete to nail anybody as of now.
Sources said as some people linked to bookies were absconding, they have got the Look Out Notices against them to ensure that they do not leave the country. Police refused to identify the persons, saying it may hamper their probe. They also sought from the Singapore headquarters of Set Max raw footage of all matches of Rajasthan Royals for further clues. Sources said besides those arrested, they were also talking to "others" in connection with the case. If there is credible evidence or input, sources said they may ask players to stay back.
Police also sent teams to various places in south India. At least 18 people - three IPL players, four former players and 11 bookies and their assistants -- have been arrested since last Thursday in connection with the scandal that rocked the cricketing world. Chandila, Sreesanth and Ankit Chavan are the three IPL players who were arrested.