In February this year, bookie Sanjeev Chawla was brought back to India from the UK after an exile of two decades. The bookie was allegedly a part of one of the biggest match-fixing scandals that India witnessed in 2000 when the Hansie Cronje-led South African team had toured the sub-continent.
Recordings of his conversation with the late Proteas skipper exposed arguably the biggest corruption scandal in Indian cricket. Having chased him for nearly 20 years, the police managed to bring the 50-year-old back to India after completing formalities of his extradition from a UK court at the beginning of the year. While the investigation has been ongoing, Chawla has made a shocking statement by suggesting that no cricket match played at the professional level is 100% fair.
“No cricket match is fairly played. All the cricket matches which people see are fixed”, he was quoted as saying by Indian Express. Chawla further spoke of the involvement of “a very big syndicate/underworld mafia” that controls what happens in the cricket game, just like “movies which are already being directed by someone”.
As per the report in the paper, Chawla revealed to the police the underworld mafia has the case’s investigation officer DCP (Crime Branch) Dr G Ram Gopal Naik on his target and his life is under threat.
Chawla, who is a London-based bookmaker born in New Delhi, has admitted to have fixed matches on several occasions. He, however, refused to delve into further details as the underworld mafia he works with could get him killed.
“A very big syndicate/underworld mafia is involved in this matter and they are dangerous people and if he says anything they will get him killed,” he said.
In another statement to the police, Chawla revealed that the other accused in the case – Krishan Kumar, Rajesh Kalra, and Sunil Dara – were his old friends who were also involved in fixing matches.
(With inputs from timesnownews)