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Spot-fixing scandal rocks IPL 2013

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India and cricket fans all over the world woke up on on the morning of 16 May to the shocking news that three players from the Rajasthan Royals franchise were charged with spot-fixing a couple of earlier games of the on-going 2013 Pepsi Indian Premier League (IPL).

The three players under the scanner are India pacer S Sreesanth, off-spinner Ajit Chandila and left-arm spinner Ankeet Chavan. Chandila and Chavan were arrested in Mumbai after last night's game against the Mumbai Indians and will be flown to Delhi while Sreesanth was detained in Delhi, where they are expected to be chargesheeted.

Seven bookies have also been arrested in this operation which the police say has been under investigation for over two months by a special cell of the Delhi police. Police say that a couple of games of the Rajasthan Royals from the past week are now under the scanner for spot fixing.

Spot fixing involves betting upon a particular ball or wicket during a cricket match and paying a player to perform in a certain way by pre-arrangement. Spot fixing has hit cricket in the past few years, most notably in the case of the three Pakistan players during their 2010 tour of England which was exposed by a sting operation of a local tabloid.

Reactions to the incident came in thick and fast through news channels and social media. Former BCCI President and ICC President was quoted as saying " If the charges are true, these players should be banned for life. Unless such harsh decisions are taken, these incidents won’t stop. This is bringing disrepute to the game and India."

Sreesanth,30, has played 53 ODI's and 27 tests for India while Ajit Chandila, 29, has played for Haryana in domestic cricket, and Ankeet Chavan, 27, has played for Mumbai.

There have been initial reports that the current spot-ffixing episode might have connections to the shady underground union of Mumbai.

N Srinivasan, the BCCI president, is expected address a press conference at 2pm IST on this matter.