Key accused in 2000 cricket match-fixing scandal held
Sanjeev Chawla, one of the main people accused in the 2000 cricket match fixing scandal was arrested in London on 14 June. Delhi police had made a request for his arrest. He was arrested on charges of fixing cricket matches between India and South Africa. On 3 October, Chawla will be brought before the Westminster Magistrates' Court in London for his hearing.
While the SA cricket team was touring India, Delhi Police revealed that the ODI matches in 2000 were fixed. They released transcripts of an alleged conversation between the South African captain Hansie Cronje and a bookie, Sanjay Chawla which showed that ODI matches were fixed in exchange for money. The South African Cricket Board said "the allegations are without any substance."
Herschelle Gibbs, Nicky Boje, and Pieter Strydom were also charged by the Delhi Police for taking money. Another Delhi based bookie Rajesh Kalra was arrested by the police, who admitted to offering huge amounts of money to players.
After denying the allegations against him, Cronje came clean to Ali Bacher, chief of the United Cricket Board of South Africa. He was immediately sacked as the captain of the team. Hansie Cronje admitted to accepting $10,000-15,000 from a London based bookie but denied fixing any matches. He was later banned from playing or coaching cricket for life.
The King Commission was set up to investigate the match fixing scandal. They began inquiries on 7 June 2000. Herschelle Gibbs revealed that he was offered $15,000 by the then captain Hansie Cronje for scoring less runs. He also told the commission that bowler Henry Williams was offered money to give away runs. However, both allegedly declined the offer.
On 28 August 2000, Herschelle Gibbs and Henry Williams were handed a suspension of six months after they pleaded guilty to accepting money to under perform. Additionally, Gibbs and Williams were fined Rs.60,000 and Rs.10,000 respectively.
Hansie Cronje in a statement said that the then Indian captain Mohammad Azharuddin was the one who introduced him to the bookies for the first time. Azharuddin had reportedly confessed to Central Bureau of Investigation about fixing three matches. On 5 December 2000, he was handed a ban for life by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).
The CBI investigation showed that former players Ajay Jadeja, Manoj Prabhakar and Ajay Sharma were also involved. BCCI handed a life ban to Ajay Sharma and 5-year ban to Ajay Jadeja. Prabhakar was banned from holding any post in Indian cricket for five years.
According to sources, Delhi Police has initiated the process of bringing Sanjeev Chawla to India. However, the accused was not in favour of the extradition and questioned "security arrangements and facilities" of Tihar jail, where he will be reportedly given a cell.