Oz cricketers 'cleared of wrongdoing' over IPL spot-fixing charges

Last Updated: Fri, May 17, 2013 04:39 hrs

Sydney: The five Australian players playing in the Indian Premier League (IPL) franchise Rajasthan Royals have reportedly been cleared of any spot-fixing charges, although they will be questioned as part of a major police investigation.

Three Indian Rajasthan Royals players, including Test pacer S.Sreesanth, were arrested on spot-fixing charges on Thursday, with more arrests expected in an operation, which could finally expose the murky underbelly of the billion-dollar IPL, News.com.au reports.

According to Delhi Police Commissioner Neeraj Kumar, no suspicion surrounds the Australians at the Royals, Shane Watson, James Faulkner, Brad Hodge, Brad Hogg and Shaun Tait.

However, the report said that those under investigation from other IPL teams include foreign players, with 10 matches under scrutiny from a special Delhi police unit, adding that the arrested Indian players have been suspended by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).

The report further said that ten bookmakers have also been arrested and are providing information to the police after phone taps recorded 50 suspicious conversations.

However, the Rajasthan Royals released a statement, claiming to have been taken by surprise, adding that they do not have the full facts at this point and are unable to confirm anything although they are in touch with the BCCI and have ensured their complete cooperation.

According to the report, widespread suspicion surrounded the highly lucrative competition's early days when the BCCI refused to employ the International Cricket Council's anti-corruption unit because of its one million-dollar cost.

Former Pakistan captain Salman Butt and teammates Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Amir were banned after agreeing to spot-fixing during the fourth Test against England at Lord's in 2010, which included the deliberate bowling of no-balls, the report added. 

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