KPL fixing scandal: Former Karnataka Ranji players Gautam, Qazi arrested

KPL fixing scandal: Former Karnataka Ranji players Gautam, Qazi arrested”

The Central Crime Branch (CCB) on Wednesday arrested two players- CM Gautama and Abrar Kazi- from Bellary Tuskers for their alleged role in the Karnataka Premier League (KPL) match-fixing case in Bengaluru.

Gautam, the 33-year-old former captain of Bellary Tuskers, and teammate Kazi allegedly accepted $28,000 each for "slow batting" in this year's tournament final against Hubli Tigers.

Police said the two were involved fixing in the KPL 2019 finals between Hubballi versus Ballari. In this match, they were offered Rs 20 lakh for slow batting.

On the contrary, Kazi played for Nagaland last season before shifting to Mizoram and both of them have named in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy, beginning on Friday, squads of their respective states.

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The arrest comes soon after Bengaluru team player Nishant Singh Shekhawat was detained earlier this week. "Also, they fixed another match against Bengaluru team", an investigation officer mentioned. "Further investigation on and more arrests would be done", he added. CM Gautam now plays for Goa in domestic cricket after shifting his base earlier this season. According to the police, Shekhawat was the link between bookies and Vinu Prasad, a Bengaluru Blasters bowling coach, who was arrested in October along with batsman Vishwanath, formerly with the same team. Hubli Tigers won that match by eight runs. Three others, including the owner of the Belagavi Panthers' team, have been arrested since the scandal came to light a couple of months ago. Also, Kazi moved across to Nagaland past year and was a success as he scored three scores of more than150+ scores as a middle-order batsman.

Gautam has represented Royal Challengers Bangalore, Mumbai Indians and Delhi Daredevils in the Indian Premier League. In fact, Gautam had moved out of Karnataka ahead of this domestic season to play for Goa while Kazi is now playing for Mizoram.

Gautam is by far the highest profile name to emerge in the KPL fixing scandal which broke in September with the arrest of Belagavi Panthers owner Ali Asfak Thara, and the consequent suspension of the franchise.

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