New Delhi: Tainted cricketer Mohnish Mishra has accepted the statements he made during the sting operation which claimed to have exposed corruption in the IPL, but said he had done that casually "to develop his value". Mishra was suspended by his Indian Premier League team Pune Warriors with immediate effect, hours after the BCCI handed him the same punishment for his alleged involvement in spot-fixing pending a board inquiry.
"We strongly condemn his irresponsible conduct and are suspending him with immediate effect till further investigation happens. He will not take any further part in the IPL," Pune Warriors owner Sushanto Roy said in a release. "We appreciate the stand taken by the BCCI and welcome the step of suspending Mohnish Mishra."
A letter written by Mishra was also attached along with the release wherein he accepted that the statements made by him on camera were made casually. It said that Mishra had made the statements "to develop his value or maybe he wanted to be pompous in front of others during the course of discussion and that he has not received any amount in cash from Sahara." "He has apologised for his frivolous and incorrect statements," the release added.
Roy said that his franchisee had not paid money in cash to any player "over and above the maximum amount permissible by the BCCI for any such player". "We once again reiterate that Sahara has never paid any amount in cash or otherwise to Mohnish Mishra or any other player, over and above the maximum amount permissible by the BCCI for any such player, and neither do we believe in this practice of giving black money," said Roy.
Five uncapped Indian players, including Mishra, were suspended with immediate effect pending completion of an inquiry as a rattled BCCI cracked the whip on tainted cricketers in the wake of a television sting operation. These players are Mishra, TP Sudhindra, Shalabh Srivastava, Abhinav Bali and Amit Yadav. The BCCI has also decided to conduct a preliminary inquiry into the incident headed by Ravi Sawani, the former chief of the ICC's Anti-Corruption Unit, before taking strict action.
Meanwhile, Srivastava, who has played for two seasons with the Kings XI Punjab, claimed that he was innocent and would put forward his side of story during the inquiry. "I deny the charges but don't want to say anything more as of now. I will put forward my views before the inquiry commissioner. I will wait for that. I respect the BCCI," he said.
Hindi-language India TV showed Sudhindra, of the Deccan Chargers, allegedly agreeing to bowl pre-arranged no-balls in a local amateur match, while Srivastava was reportedly heard boasting he could do the same in the IPL. The channel claimed it had taped seamer Srivastava telling its reporters he could deliver a no-ball in the IPL for one million Rupees.