New information on bookies’ activity is crucial to bringing forward possible charges.
A bowler has turned witness for police probing a spot-fixing scandal in Indian cricket and his evidence could be used in a case against his teammates, an officer said.
Paceman Siddharth Trivedi has recorded testimony for police who are trying to link bookmakers to three of his teammates arrested as part of the corruption probe into the Indian Premier League (IPL), the unnamed officer said.
“His statement is important because he has told us he has information on some of the bookies arrested by us,” a police officer, who is part of the investigating team, told on condition of anonymity.
Test paceman Shanthakumaran Sreesanth and uncapped spinners Ankeet Chavan and Ajit Chandila were arrested on May 16 over allegations they deliberately underperformed in specific overs in exchange for tens of thousands of dollars from bookies betting on matches in the just concluded Twenty20 competition.
Scores of bookmakers have also been arrested.
“Trivedi’s statements will be admissible as evidence in the court. It will definitely make our case stronger,” the Special Cell officer told AFP.
All three players from the Rajasthan Royals team have denied wrongdoing.
Sreesanth, who has played 27 Tests for India, is alleged to have been paid four million rupees ($72,000) to give away around 14 runs in an over while playing against the Kings XI Punjab on May 9.
Chandila and Chavan are said to have agreed to similar deals in two other IPL matches.
Spot-fixing is an illegal activity in which a specific part of a game, but not the result, is fixed.
Local media reports on Friday said uncapped Trivedi, who also plays for the Rajasthan Royals, had turned down an invitation by Chandila to attend a party allegedly arranged by bookies.
“He had also refused money and gifts offered by the bookies,” the Press Trust of India news agency said.
The news comes after batting superstar Sachin Tendulkar called the betting and spot-fixing scandal “shocking and disappointing”, becoming India’s first big-name player to speak out on the issue.
“The developments in the last two weeks have been shocking and disappointing,” Tendulkar, the world’s leading scorer in both Test and one-day cricket, said in a statement on Friday.