The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) seems to be very sensitive about the corruption in the game. The board is taking every necessary step to prevent the cricketers from getting involved in any illegal activity.
Players are always vulnerable to approaches made by pretty girls and when they are offered the opportunity to make fortunes for making minor adjustments in their play, it turns out to be an irresistible package.
The most useful weapon for the bookies to lure the players is ‘honey-trap’. Honey trap and parties are the latest dirt to tumble out the murky closet of IPL spot-fixing. In a desperate measure to protect the sanctity of the Indian Premier League (IPL) and the image of its players, the Indian board is viewing the fair sex with a lot of skepticism.
Recently the members of BCCI’s anti-corruption unit sat down with the players of different franchises and thoroughly explained to them the modus operandi of fixers and how honeytraps are used to woo cricketers.
The eighth season of the cash-rich league was not even one week old and the menace of spot-fixing has once again engulfed when a Rajasthan Royals player was reportedly approached for fixing. The BCCI confirmed the news but refused to name the players involved.
According to the reports, a domestic player tried to lure the Rajasthan player and it is a known fact that fixers often use honey traps to snare players into their web. Anti-Corruption and Security Unit (ACSU) officials of the BCCI have earlier also worked towards making players aware of such moves by fixers and the easy targets for them are especially the young stars who are having their first tryst with fame and adulation.
Speaking to Mail Today, an official of one of the franchises said that the team had a full session with their ACSU official. The emphasis was laid on explaining the players of the network through which fixers generally work and how they force the cricketers to join hands with them.
According to the officials, the fixers first plant a character with an imaginary name in the life of a player. This person will start off as a fan, and then try to get to know the player personally.
The player is then approached to go out for dinner and frequent attempts are made to get intimate with him at the earliest.
Once this aim is achieved, an MMS reaches the player, followed by a phone call by the fixer. This is the time when the player is given the choice of either joining hands with them or seeing the MMS being leaked on the internet.
Former Indian cricketer, Madan Lal feels that it is a “very good effort” by the BCCI as only the players can stop this menace.“I think it is an impressive move by the BCCI. After all, only the players can stop fixing,” he said.
“In fact, the domestic players and youngsters are the most vulnerable as they aren’t accustomed to this type of fame and adulation. When they see an international cricketer and the aura around him, they want the same for themselves. That is when they commit mistakes and their life takes a turn for the worse,” Lal told Mail Today.
In the case where Rajasthan player was approached, ideally both the names should have been revealed, but the BCCI has a different viewpoint. They need to have more evidence before naming the players.
IPS Bibhuti Bhusana Mishra who was the chief investigating officer in the IPL betting scandal feels that the dirt that exists in Indian cricket made him to hate the game of cricket which he used to love in school times.
Mishra, on whose report the Supreme Court-appointed Mukul Mudgal panel based its report, is not surprised to hear that a Rajasthan Royals player recently reported an undesirable approach by one of his Mumbai teammates.
A cricketer should not feel that he’s off the hook and he can do anything he feels like. The feeling that ‘I’m a cricketer and I can escape with murder’ should not be there,” said Mishra.
If BCCI or ACU presses cricketers further, they may raise the issue of their fundamental rights as provided by the Indian constitution, which was invoked when the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) was trying to impose the whereabouts clause a few years ago.
However the relation between the the honey-traps and the cricketers is now new. In 2012, an ICC anti-corruption investigator questioned Bollywood starlet Nupur Mehta in connection with the match and spot-fixing allegations.
In the sting operation, done to investigate allegations of match-fixing in the 2011 World Cup, specifically the semifinal match between India and Pakistan in Mohali, a suspicion was raised on Mehta being used by bookies to lure players.
However Mehta said she told the ICC official that she was not involved in match-fixing and the cricketers she befriended with were also not involved in such activities.She had also threatened legal action against the English newspaper which claimed her of being inducted in the fixing scandal.
The paper carried out a sting operation on a Delhi-based bookie, who claimed that the Indian bookmakers are fixing the results of England county games and international fixtures and they are using a Bollywood actress as a honeytrap to recruit players.
Mehta had also said at that time that she had gone out with Tillakaratne Dilshan during the 2009 Twenty20 World Cup in England.Reports also suggested that Mehta also knew few Indians as well as West Indian players who played in the IPL for some time.