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Every game of South Africa’s tour of India in 2000 was attempted to be fixed: Delhi Police

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The Delhi Police have filed a chargesheet against Sanjeev Chawla, the ostensible mastermind behind the match fixing scandal in 2000, which took place during South Africa’s tour of India that year. The chargesheet lists in detail, the role played by Chawla, in fixing matches from that tour.

The chargesheet read, “On the basis of statements of the witnesses recorded during the investigation, conversation recorded between the accused in the seized audio and video cassettes, CFSL report and other documentary and oral evidence, it can be safely concluded that some of the matches were fixed and in some, an attempt was made to fix them.”

Among the 2 Tests and 5 ODIs the two teams played, the chargesheet reported that the 1st Test held in Mumbai and the 1st ODI at Kochi were fixed.
The chargesheet read, “In furtherance of this conspiracy, the 1st Test Match at Mumbai and 1st One-Day International at Cochin were fixed and the same resulted in wrongful gain to the accused and wrongful loss in general to the public at large, who had gone believing that they would perform optimally. The accused persons have thus committed offences punishable under sections 420 and 120B of IPC.”

The chargesheet further read, “Some of the matches were fixed and in some matches an attempt was made to fix them.”
“It was decided that South African team will not score more than 250 runs in an innings. Though the South African team won the Test in three days, this was attributed to a very poor performance by India. The Indian team had batted first and scored 225 and the South African team scored only 176. In the 2nd innings, India scored a mere 113 and the South African team won the match by scoring 164 runs only. Thus, the South African team did not score more than 250 runs in both the innings, as committed by accused Hansie Cronje to the fixers. Thus, this match was a fixed one.”

ALSO READ: 20 years on, cricket still reeling from Hansie Cronje and the match fixing scandal

About the 1st ODI held at Kochi, the statement read, “Constant calls made to Hamid Cassim by Sanjeev Chawla and Hansie Cronje on the night intervening 8/9.03.2000 further corroborate the statement of Hansie Cronje made before King Commission that he was being regularly pressurised to underperform as per their bidding.”

Hansie: “No no, They were saying that they were already doing Cochin, the other guys are already angry with me because I have not received their money…”

Sanjeev: “I can deposit the money in your account, it is not a problem. Tomorrow itself I can deposit the money.”

According to the statement, the 2nd Test, which took place at the Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bangalore, an attempt was made to fix the game as well, but it did not materialize.
“Though Hansie Cronje had spoken to other players, as per the statements made before the King Commission, this match was not fixed although an attempt was made to fix it,” the statement read.

Although the 2nd, 3rd and 4th One Day Internationals’ outcomes were not determined beforehand, Hansie Cronje, the then South African captain, helped the accused people earn huge profits from placing bets by giving them inside information.
“Though the matches were not fixed, it can be inferred that Hansie Cronje helped in giving inside information to the accused persons and helped them in placing bets and earn huge profits,” the statement read.

Apparently, the 5th and final ODI at Nagpur was supposed to be a fixed match as well, but the disgraced Cricketers forgot about the deal in the heat of the game.
“From the recorded conversation, it is evident that Hansie Cronje had agreed to fix the score of the match and he had also agreed to fix the individual score of Herschelle Gibbs. It was also agreed that if the result came as agreed, then Sanjeev Chawla will pay $140000 to Hansie Cronje. Though the players forgot about the deal in the heat of the game and did not agree, it can be concluded that a serious attempt was made to fix the match,” the statement read.

Former BCCI secretary Jayawant Lele, who passed away in 2013, was the then BCCI secretary when the unfortunate incident took place. He was one of the biggest names among the list of 68 witnesses.

Sanjeev Chawla, a British citizen was extradited to India after a rather lengthy process this year in February, but was out of Tihar Jail in the absence of High Court’s stay order. According to a report from the Indian Express, on May 13, Delhi Police approached the Supreme Court challenging the High Court order.