A drummer who has performed in front of IPL crowds has been arrested by Bangalore police on suspicion of trying to influence a cricket match. Bhavesh Bafna aged 26 is believed to have acted as an intermediary for local bookies, in a bid to persuade players to illegally give away runs.
Bafna is a musical celebrity in the cricketing world, having played not just in the IPL but also in matches for the KPL and Tamil Nadu Premier League.
Betting probe opened by police
The arrest of Bhavesh Bafna is the latest in a string of actions taken by the Bangalore Central Crime Branch amid a raft of accusations over match-fixing. The investigation began with rumours of match-fixing within the Tamil Nadu Premium League but after intelligence from the BCCI Anti-Corruption Unit (ACU) it became clear that the operation was wider than originally thought.
Bafna was identified as a target after Asfak Ali Thara, owner of Belagavi Panthers, was taken into custody for questioning. Police believe that Thara is involved in an illegal betting scam in the KPL during August. It was during the investigation into Thara that Bafna’s name was brought up.
At the moment, the police have not been able to identify any matches which were fixed, but a number of professionals have been hauled in for questioning, including both players and coaching staff, as well as others associated with the club.
Sources at the CBB say that they believe up to 12 players were in communication with Thara during the match-fixing attempt.
Named by childhood friend
One of the individuals identified as playing an active role in the scandal was drummer Bhavesh Bafna. He was named by Bhavesh Gulecha, a fast bowler who plays for the Bellary Tuskers. In a formal complaint, Gulecha alleges that he was approached by Bafna and asked to give away in excess of 10 runs per over in a match.
As an incentive, Bafna is believed to have offered Gulecha a lucrative IPL contract as well as a cash advance. To accept the deal, Gulecha would have met with Delhi bookie Sanyam. Gulecha says he declined the opportunity.
Police have not approached Sanyam for questioning so far and the investigation into the alleged attempt at match-fixing is continuing. Despite Bafna’s arrest, it’s believed that no charges have yet been officially made.
Source – Igaming world