File photo of Rajasthan Royal's player Sreesanth when he was under arrest. (AP Photo)
It's been 60 days since the IPL spot-fixing controversy shook the roots of Indian cricket's establishment. In a never-seen-before crackdown, Delhi and Mumbai Police went all out to nab the suspects, which led to the arrests of Test cricketer S Sreesanth and his team-mates at Rajasthan Royals Ajit Chandila and Ankeet Chavan.
The resultant spot-fixing links spread like a virus, striking Bollywood celebrities and team owners. Investigations led the police to small-time actor Vindoo Dara Singh and Chennai Super Kings' Gurunath Meiyappan, along with Rajasthan Royals' celebrity co-owners Raj Kundra and his wife Shilpa Shetty Kundra.
Sources say police are doing final checks with the BCCI before filing the first chargesheet in the case, which could include slapping the MCOCA act on the key suspects. But while those caught in the net wait to know their fate, it's interesting to know where and in what state of mind they are at present.
In a major setback to the Delhi Police's investigations, a Delhi court indicted them on June 10 for slapping MCOCA on the 19 accused, including Sreesanth and Chavan, and granted them bail. But Chandila, who according to the police is the "key conspirator" in the case, is still in jail.
Out on bail after 27 days in custody, the temperamental fast bowler was recently admitted to a hospital due to viral fever. "I told BCCI the entire story. In those 27 days, I had been treated like a criminal, a murderer," he told Hindustan Times from the hospital.
From visiting temples seeking blessings to sticking to his stance of 'I'm clean', Sreesanth vows to fight until acquitted. "I don't have a single rupee that is unexplained - all legally earned, tax paid."
Meanwhile, the buzz is that Sreesanth is looking forward to his acting debut in the Malayalam flick Big Picture.
Chavan got married in the middle of this IPL scandal; in fact, he was granted an interim bail for that, after which he surrendered before coming out on bail again on June 10, along with Sreesanth. Understandably, he is looking forward to spend some time with his wife and family.
"Ankeet wants to be with his family as much as possible. He has been through some really tough time, spent sleepless nights in police custody and now wants to relax," one of Chavan's relatives had recently told media.
Chavan is also hoping for a verdict that will allow him to play cricket again. "I've always given my 100 per cent and have always played the game with a lot of passion. I hope that I get positive verdict from the judiciary so that I get to play cricket again," the tainted player said.
Chandila is the only Rajasthan player to be still in jail. His bail plea is yet to be heard by a Delhi court. Delhi police, however, had earlier opposed Chandila's bail plea, labelling him as the "key conspirator" in the IPL spot-fixing case. The police also believe that he is acting at the behest of a syndicate run by underworld don Dawood Ibrahim.
Gurunath Meiyappan and Vindoo Dara Singh
Former BCCI president N Srinivasan's son-in-law and CSK's ex-Team Principal Gurunath, who was arrested and then released on bail on June 4, could soon be summoned again for interrogation by the Tamil Nadu CB-CID who are investigating the IPL betting case and have reportedly found fresh evidence against Gurunath and Vindoo.
Vindoo too is out on bail, granted by a local Mumbai court on June 4. The Bollywood actor admitted to having placed bets on behalf of Gurunath, who was then arrested on the night of May 25.
Raj Kundra and Shilpa Shetty
After constantly being under the media scanner for their involvement in IPL betting, the Rajasthan Royals' co-owners have reportedly flown to London for a vacation. Sources say the celebrity couple had planned their trip much earlier, but it couldn't materialise since Raj's passport was confiscated by the police. Sources also say that the couple will spend a week-long vacation in Portugal as well.