Amid strong denial from his family and lawyer Deepak Prakash, Indian paceman S Sreesanth has reportedly confessed to his involvement in the spot-fixing racket to the investigating team.
ABP News claims that Sreesanth has confessed to police that Jiju Janardhan, a bookie, lured him into the betting racket.
Interestingly, the report came at a time when the bowler's lawyer claimed that his client is innocent and would seek bail.
Ankeet Chavan, another cricketer arrested in connection with the spot-fixing scam, reportedly broke down during questioning and confessed to making a mistake. "Yes, I did something wrong. Yes, I made a mistake," The Times Now quoted him as saying.
The Delhi Police arrested three bowlers - S Sreesanth, Ankeet Chavan and Ajit Chandila - of Rajasthan Royals on Thursday in Mumbai in connection with spot-fixing in the ongoing IPL matches. They were later produced before the Saket Court and will be in police custody for five days. Police have also detained 11 other bookies.
The players have been charged under section 240 (cheating) and 120B (criminal conspiracy) of Indian Penal Code (IPC).
According to the Delhi police, the bowlers were asked to concede at least a given number of runs in an over so that the bookies could bet heavily and make profits. The bowlers give pre-decided signal through their accessories like wrist watches, wrist bands, towels etc before starting an over, for which they were paid upto ₹60 lakh.
Delhi commissioner Neeraj Kumar said the spot fixing happened on 5, 9 and 15 May.
According to the police, Chandila conceded 14 runs in the second over of his spell against the Pune Warriors India on 5 May, but he forgot to give the pre-decided signal. He was offered ₹40 lakh for the spell and ₹20 lakh was paid in advance. He had to return the amount as the bookies couldn't bet.
Sreesanth inserted a towel on his trouser in the match against Kings XI Punjab in Mohali on 9 May, allegedly sending a signal to the bookies. He gave away 13 runs in that particular over. Then Ankit Chavan was offered ₹60 lakh to concede 13 or more runs in the match against Mumbai Indians on 15 May. His second over cost the team 15 runs.
The BCCI suspended all the three players in question after the news of their involvement in spot-fixing surfaced.
Meanwhile, Rajasthan Royals have issued a statement expressing their shock at the allegations against three of their players and assured their co-operation in the investigation process.
"We have been informed that 3 of our players have been called in for investigation on spot fixing in matches. We are completely taken by surprise. We do not have the full facts at this point and are unable to confirm anything. We are in touch with the BCCI on this matter," said the statement.
"We will fully cooperate with the authorities to ensure a thorough investigation. The management at Rajasthan Royals has a zero-tolerance approach to anything that is against the spirit of the game."
The police said that the players were offered ₹60 lakh to allow certain runs in an over in their match against Mumbai Indians (MI) on Wednesday. MI put up 166 runs on the board, but interestingly, Sreesanth was not featured in the match.
Spot-fixing is not like match fixing where one tries to change the course of a game. In spot-fixing, a player makes a pre-determined decision, like bowling a wide or a no-ball in the fifth ball of the sixth over.