Mumbai: The Mumbai Police chargesheet on the betting scandal in IPL 2013 has listed the matches involving Chennai Super Kings that were under its scanner, including one match where Gurunath Meiyappan allegedly bet against his own team winning. It also brings out, through transcripts of phone conversations, the alleged close links between Gurunath and the actor-punter Vindoo Dara Singh, to whom he provided match-related information that was then passed on to bookies.
“During the match between Rajasthan Royals and Chennai Super Kings on May 12, a conversation is available between Meiyappan and Randhawa [Vindoo Dara Singh] at 20:58,” the chargesheet said. “It mentions Meiyappan telling Randhawa [that] Chennai Super Kings will score 130-140 runs. Chennai Super Kings scored 141 runs that day. Such information is useful for session betting. Numerous conversations are available during the match that despite being the Team Principal of Chennai Super Kings, Meiyappan has placed bets on Rajasthan Royals winning the match.”
The chargesheet also mentioned a recording at 9.59 am on May 14 in which Gurunath is supposed to have told Vindoo that the game between Super Kings and Delhi Daredevils scheduled for later that day will not take place because the stadium in Chennai did not have a stability certificate.
The match did go ahead and the chargesheet contained further details of telephone conversations between Vindoo and Gurunath later that day. At 14:44, Meiyappan was on his yacht when he got this call from Vindoo – or, as the chargesheet put it, “Randhawa is heard scolding Meiyappan for being in his boat”. “You are the boss, go there … what those people is thinking, I want exactly.”
“At 19:26.34 on May 14, Randhawa [Vindoo] is heard querying to Meiyappan about the toss. In the same conversation, Meiyappan is heard telling Randhawa, ‘We win hundred percent.’ At 19:53 on May 14, Meiyappan is heard telling Randhawa, ‘no other changes in team.'”
The chargesheet also includes Gurunath mentioning games between other teams. “At 15:56 on May 12, Meiyappan is heard instructing Randhawa based on internal information he has while discussing about the game between KKR and RCB in Ranchi. At 10:54 on May 13, Meiyappan is heard informing Randhawa that Sunrisers will win against Mumbai Indians on the match that was scheduled for the day. Meiyappan’s voice sample has been sent to the laboratory and we are awaiting the report.”
The Mumbai police said they had established Gurunath’s association with the Chennai Super Kings team through material evidence. “We have confiscated materials and kit of Chennai Super Kings with the team logo from Meiyappan’s residence on May 26. It mentions him as ‘Team Principal’ on a few visiting cards. This establishes his association with Chennai Super Kings.
“Witness Naresh Himmatlal Makani has said Meiyappan is an IPL team owner and has also recorded in his statement that BCCI president [sic] Rajeev Shukla has sent an email to Meiyappan as a team owner on 24-12-2011 and 09-01-2012. He has also recorded in his statement that he has been cheated since a team owner indulged in betting and has passed on information to bookies.”
Gurunath’s Super Kings connections were widely known. As reported by ESPNcricinfo, he was present at the Chennai table during IPL auctions and represented the franchise at team meetings; he had a gold IPL accreditation card meant only for team owners.
Gurunath was charged under sections 415, 420 and 417 of the Indian Penal Code, which deal with cheating and fraud, and section 130 of Bombay Police Act, which concerns cheating at games. He was also been charged under section 66A of the Information Technology Act, because police claimed that he had used mobile phones and an I-Pad for illegal betting, and two sections of the Gambling Act.