CM Gautam, a first-class player who was part of three IPL teams, and his former Karnataka teammate Abrar Qazi were on Thursday arrested for allegedly accepting money to spot-fix in the scandal-ridden Karnataka Premier League.
Bellary Tuskers captain Gautam, a former wicketkeeper-batsman, and his teammate Qazi were arrested by the city’s Central Crime Branch, which is investigating charges of spot-fixing in the last two seasons of KPL.
“We have arrested two players with regards to KPL fixing,” Additional Commissioner of Police Sandeep Patil told PTI, adding that some more arrests may be made as the investigation progresses.
Both Gautam, who plays for Goa now, and Kazi, who represents Mizoram, had been named in their respective state squads for the upcoming Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy tournament, scheduled to begin on Friday. Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy is the national T20 tournament.
Police said the two were involved in fixing in the KPL 2019 finals between Bellary Tuskers and Hubli Tigers after accepting Rs 20 lakh each for slow batting. Hubli Tigers won that match by eight runs.
“They were paid Rs 20 lakh for slow batting, and for other things. Also, they fixed another match against Bengaluru team,” an investigation officer said.
The arrest comes close on the heels of the detention of Bengaluru team player Nishant Singh Shekhawat earlier this week. Three others, including the owner of the Belagavi Panthers’ team, have been arrested since the scandal came to light a couple of months ago.
Gautam and Qazi have played in domestic cricket and the Indian Premier League as well.
The 33-year-old Gautam is a seasoned campaigner having turned up for Delhi Daredevils, Mumbai Indians and Royal Challengers Bangalore in the IPL. The 30-year-old Kazi played just one match for the RCB back in 2011, failing to make much of an impact. He has 17 first-class appearances to his name.
Gautam, perhaps the biggest name to be caught in the scandal, has 94 first-class games to his credit and was a regular in the Karnataka team. He shifted allegiance to Goa this season.
On October 26, Bengaluru Blasters bowling coach Vinu Prasad and batsman Vishwanathan were arrested in connection with the fixing scandal.
The coach allegedly manipulated a game between Bengaluru Blasters and Belagavi Panthers last year.
The KPL fixing came to limelight with the arrest of Ali Ashfaq Thara, who owned the Belagavi team.