The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) Ombudsman Vineet Saran has reduced former Rajasthan Royals spinner Ajit Chandila ban to seven years.
Chandila was banned for life after his alleged involvement in the spot fixing scandal along with former India pacer S Sreesanth and Ankeet Chavan during the 2013 IPL season. It resulted in a big shake up in Indian cricket which made the Supreme Court intervene and change its constitution.
The Indian board had already uplifted Sreesanth’s and Chavan’s ban. Sreesanth went on to play for his side Kerala while Chavan resumed to play for his club team in Mumbai.
In his order Saran wrote, “The present matter arises out of Case Crime No 20/2013 dated 09.05.2013 registered with the Special Cell of Dell Police against the Applicant on allegations of spot fixing in cricket matches of Indian Premier League (“IPL”). Pending inquiry, BCCI suspended the Applicant from all cricketing activities on 17.05.2013. Apart from the criminal proceedings initiated against the Applicant, Disciplinary proceedings were also initiated against him by BCCI. Accordingly, the Applicant’s Representation dated 04.11.2019 is accepted and his prayer for granting him parity with Sreesanth and Ankeet Chavan is allowed. The life ban imposed on him by Order of BCCI Disciplinary Committee dated 18.01.2016 is reduced to a period of seven (7) years from 18.01.2016.”
In 2017, the Kerala High Court had lifted the life ban imposed on Sreesanth by the BCCI in the wake of the 2013 IPL spot-fixing scandal. In his verdict, Justice A Muhamed Mustaque, said there was no incriminating evidence to pinpoint Sreesanth’s involvement in the spot-fixing scandal. The court pointed out that the committee had come to the conclusion based solely on circumstantial evidence.
The committee found nothing that suggests the cricketer had agreed to spot-fixing. The only probability in such circumstances that could be pointed out against the cricketer was his knowledge on the subject of betting. The evidence pointed out that betting syndicates and other mafia had encircled the gentleman’s game. The court passed the verdict while allowing a writ filed by Sreesanth challenging the BCCI disciplinary committee’s decision. Back in 2015, a Delhi court had acquitted Sreesanth of all charges, but the BCCI had slapped a life term ban on him.
Post Sreesanth order, Chandila and Chavan requested Indian board to uplift ban on them.