Neeraj Kumar, the retired commissioner has disclosed how the Delhi Police accidentally uncovered the Hansie Cronje match-fixing and IPL 2013 spot-fixing cases in cricket.
In an exclusive chat with Indranil Basu on Sportskeeda Cricket’s Facebook page, Neeraj Kumar revealed that the police had intercepted a phone call and accidentally got the link to the Hansie Cronje case. Similarly, he recalled that they learnt about the IPL 2013 spot-fixing case while investigating a terror angle.
Neeraj Kumar Explains Delhi Police Heard Name of Hansie Cronje In Conversation In Connection To An Extorsion Case
Neeraj Kumar explains how Delhi Police uncovered the Hansie Cronje match-fixing and IPL 2013 spot-fixing cases
Speaking about the Hansie Cronje case, Neeraj Kumar said:
“Two of the major scams that have been uncovered in cricket, they have been on account of telephonic intercepts done totally accidentally. The first one was the Hansie Cronje case. A certain phone number was being heard in connection with an extortion case, and the officer hearing the conversation, he heard the names of Hansie Cronje and others.”
On 7 April 2000, it was revealed there was a conversation between Hansie Cronje and Sanjay Chawla, a representative of an Indian betting syndicate, over match-fixing allegations. Three other players including Herschelle Gibbs and Nicky Boje were also implicated. After an inquiry by the King Commission, Hansie Cronje was banned from any involvement in cricket for life. On 1 June 2002, Hansie Cronje’s plane crashed and he died aged only 32.
Neeraj Kumar Speaks That Spot Fixing In IPL Was Uncovered From Interception Of Calls In Rumored Terror Angle
Neeraj Kumar then spoke about the 2013 spot-fixing case and how they uncovered that scam. He said:
“The second was the 2013 spot-fixing case. There was an input from one of our central intelligence agencies about certain calls that they had intercepted, in which some terror angle was there in the whole thing.”
“So, what happened was that the agency shared the information and the number with the Delhi Police. We were hearing that the those intercepts were from terrorism point of view, to prevent a terror attack. Soon, we began to hear about cricket.”
The 2013 Indian Premier League spot-fixing and betting case arose when the Delhi Police arrested three cricketers, S. Sreesanth, Ajit Chandila, and Ankeet Chavan, on the charges of alleged spot-fixing. The three represented the Rajasthan Royals in the 2013 Indian Premier League.
In July 2015, the RM Lodha Committee suspended India Cements and Jaipur IPL, owners of Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals respectively, for two years. In January 2016, Ajit Chandila was given a life ban from all forms of cricket by the BCCI. In March 2019, the Supreme Court lifted the life ban imposed by BCCI on S. Sreesanth.
Neeraj Kumar signed off by saying that the central intelligence agency would not have shared the data with the police in any other state including union territory but they did so with the Delhi Police because of their proximity and the relationship between the officers.