Big catch: IPL regular arrested for match-fixing

A man arrested for allegedly inducing a cricketer to under-perform and facilitating spot-fixing in the 2019 Karnataka Premier League has claimed that he was functioning as an informer of the BCCI Anti-Corruption Unit.

Sanyam Gulati from Haryana, held by the crime branch on November 9 on charges of influencing KPL player Bhavesh Gulecha to indulge in spot-fixing, has written to judicial officers in Karnataka and police officers investigating the scandal that he paid Gulecha Rs 75,000 only to collect evidence for the ACU.

Gulati, alleged to be involved in betting across the world including in the Caribbean Premier League and Tamil Nadu Premier League, claimed to have kept BCCI manager for anti-corruption Anshuman Upadhyay in the loop about his approaches to KPL players.

However, a senior police officer has rubbished these claims.

“International bookie Sanyam has been arrested. He is a resident of Haryana. He was absconding in the West Indies. An LoC (Look Out Circular) was issued. He is arrested in the case of match-fixing by (celebrity drummer) Bhavesh Bafna,” Bengaluru Crime Branch said.

According to the statement provided to police by Gulecha, a Ballary Tuskers player, he was offered the prospect of playing in the IPL and Rs two lakh cash by Gulati as inducement.

But in a letter dated November 8, Gulati has claimed that he held meetings with players at Upadhyay’s behest.

“I state that Mr Anshuman Upadhyay, the manager of anti-corruption unit, BCCI, India, having office at Mumbai, asked/requested me to pass on information about the corrupt practice of match/spot-fixing in cricket matches. Only on the request of the above person I entertained the complainant of this case Bhavesh Gulecha and secured information and forwarded it to Anshuman Upadhyay,” Gulati wrote.

Gulati, who describes himself as a businessman, has claimed to have met the BCCI’s anti-corruption manager in 2018 at Dindigul in Tamil Nadu during the 2018 TNPL. He claims to have alerted Tamil Nadu police about large-scale gambling on TNPL matches during that season.

“In the month of July 2018, I had come to Chennai to see TNPL matches. During the matches, I found that online gambling is going on and from the ground information was being forwarded to bookies. I lodged a complaint through mail to ADGP of police in Tamil Nadu and requested action,” the letter states.

“During my visit to Dindigul to see a match, I met Mr Anshuman Upadhyay, the manager of anti-corruption unit, BCCI, India. I apprised him of my information about bookies and mode of gambling in the ground. He assured me of action if it comes to his notice in respect to corrupt practice by the players or anybody else.”

Gulati claims to have met Bafna during the 2018 TNPL and the latter is alleged to have roped in Gulecha for fixing in 2019 KPL. In May this year, Bafna approached him saying his friend who is in the KPL “wants to do something in matches to make money,” Gulati stated. According to him, he arranged for Bafna and Gulecha to meet him in Delhi where an offer was allegedly made to Gulecha.

In July, when he travelled to South India for the TNPL, Gulati claims to have met Gulecha again. “I paid him Rs 75,000 in cash only to collect evidence against him,” he wrote.

“I was convinced that corruption was likely to take place in KPL matches hence I forwarded this information to Mr Anshuman Upadhyay, the manager of anti-corruption unit of BCCI India. Mr Anshuman Upadhyay asked me to continue my contacts with Mr Bhavesh Gulecha and in the event of Mr Bhavesh Gulecha conducting as promised by him he would take action against him under anti-corruption regulation of BCCI and other acts such as police complaints etc.”

“If I had intended to make money, I would not have forwarded each and every development to Mr Anshuman Upadhyay and I would not have worked as a source to the BCCI anti-corruption unit,” Gulati added.

He claims to have screenshots of messages forwarded to Upadhyay informing him about the plans for fixing in KPL matches.

But a senior Bengaluru police officer described Gulati’s claims as false.