India team celebrating a wicket. ©ICC

A player from the Indian team was reportedly approached to fix a match earlier this year. The said incident allegedly occurred ahead of the limited overs home series against England in February this year. The player has reported the same to the Board of Control for Cricket in India’s (BCCI) anti-corruption unit (ACU).

The case has been registered with the Bengaluru police under four sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC)— one of which is Section 420, which pertains to cheating and dishonestly inducing delivery of property. The ACU also registered a first-information report (FIR) against Rakesh Bafna and Jitendra Kothari for the reported approach.

“Today, we have got an FIR registered against two people in Bengaluru,” Ajit Singh Shekhawat, head of BCCI’s ACU, told Sportstar on Monday (September 16). “The FIR pertains to an approach that was made to one of the women cricketers of the team. She reported the approach to us and even recorded the conversation she had with one of the accused over the telephone.”

Sportstar further reported that Kothari, whilst claiming to be a sports manager, got in touch with the said player last year. Ahead of the series in February 2019, while the player was training at the National Cricket Academy (NCA), he put her in touch with Bafna.

“Kothari was trying to sell himself as the manager of various women cricketers,” Shekhawat said. “It was he who introduced Bafna to the player. He approached her to fix matches and play according to the script.”

Shekhawat believes the incident will work as a lesson for all the women players— that they too are vulnerable to such approaches.

“People involved in betting just need any cricket match, for them, it does not matter at what level it is being played,” he explained. “If a match is telecast, that helps them in betting and that’s why they indulge in spot-fixing.”

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