Indian Premier League (IPL) 2013 betting and spot-fixing scandal had worsened India's image in the cricket fraternity. Big names, including several team owners and established cricketers, were banned and others were suspected of having been involved in corruption.
No one was spared as Chennai Super Kings (CSK) and Rajasthan Royals (RR) faced two-year suspensions. Even MS Dhoni's named was floated around and the former India captain had sued a leading daily for linking his name to corruption.
Nonetheless, the Supreme Court of India had directed a probe against several prominent players and team owners after the news of betting and spot-fixing during the 2013 season of the cash-rich league broke out.
BB Misra, a senior IPS officer, who was appointed as the chief investigator for the infamous cricket scandal by the apex court in 2014 has opened up about leads that he had received about possible corruption angles during the 60-day probe.
'Phone conversation between the player and the bookie'
Talking to The Indian Express, Misra said he had received information about a top player, who was part of India's 2011 World Cup squad, having been in touch with a bookie during the 2008/09 cricket season.
"This thing happened during an international cricket match, probably in the run-up to the match. Just a day or two before the match. It happened in 2008-09," Misra told the news daily.
He added: "It was a phone conversation (between the player and the bookie) that was recorded... It would have taken a lot more time.
"There are two voices on the telephone. Allegedly one is that of the player and the other one is of the bookie. If I have to investigate, I have to take voice samples of the player and the voice samples of the bookie. Send it for a forensic opinion. That takes a month. And then, why do I have to do it when it was not part of my charter?
"I would have confronted the player with the information I got from the bookie. But (that) evidence didn't come from the bookie though I knew the evidence existed, I could not pursue it.
"I knew of this specific instance where the bookie had confided in somebody else, I got that information, the bookie accepted that information before me also, he was willing to give the evidence but in the last minute he decided not to."
'Little more time would have helped'
Misra said he was not able to follow the lead as he was busy probing the allegations against former BCCI president N Srinivasan, and banned CSK and RR team officials Gurunath Meiyappan and Raj Kundra.
During the four-month probe, the senior investigating officer also was involved in questioning top officials and players, including the nine cricketers, whose names were part of the sealed envelope handed over to the apex court by the Mudgal committee in 2014.
While adding that the investigators could have covered a wider range had they had more time, Misra said the "Supreme Court was fair enough" to extend the initial two-month deadline to four months.
"There were goals to be achieved within a time frame. I think whatever we wanted to achieve, we did within those three-and-a-half months. To be honest, for something I wanted to achieve going beyond that, probably a little more time would have helped,' Misra said.