A “top Indian cricketer” has been in touch with a “bookie” in the run-up to an international match. Their conversation is recorded on tape. But the investigating officer could not probe the case conclusively. He did not have the required time to investigate the complex case.
Indian Premier League investigator BB Misra in an interview to national daily Indian Express has claimed that the bookie-cricketer chat was recorded on a tape and the bookie had initially agreed to cooperate but backed. The probe could not conclude decisively as the officer had a deadline to meet in the key matter.
Mishra while declining to reveal the identity of the cricketer, has told the paper that in spite of talking to the bookie, he “could not crack the case” as the fixed timeline to submit his report did now allow him enough time for investigation, which also was not the part of his assigned role.
“There is one such instance related to an international match that was played in India. But I could not probe that instance to its logical conclusion. That is what I am suggesting. This thing happened during an international cricket match, probably in the run-up to the match. Just a day or two before the match. It happened in 2008-09,” Mishra had told the paper in an interview.
“It was a phone conversation (between the player and the bookie) that was recorded… It would have taken a lot more time (beyond) October 31. There are two voices on the telephone. Allegedly one is that of the player and the other one is of the bookie. If I have to investigate, I have to take voice samples of the player and the voice samples of the bookie. Send it for a forensic opinion. That takes a month. And then, why do I have to do it when it was not part of my charter? It could have been done if we had more time…We didn’t get an occasion for the player and the bookie to be confronted. I managed to speak to the bookie. He did say he was in touch with the player,” Mishra stated about the incident related to the 2008-09 season.
“I would have confronted the player with the information I got from the bookie. But (that) evidence didn’t come from the bookie though I knew the evidence existed, I could not pursue it. I knew of this specific instance where the bookie had confided in somebody else, I got that information, the bookie accepted that information before me also, he was willing to give the evidence but in the last minute he decided not to.”
During the four-month probe from mid-June to October 31, 2014 Misra questioned over 100 people, including 30 players and top officials. His findings were part of Justice Mukul Mudgal’s final report that was submitted to the Supreme Court.