NEW DELHI (AP) — The Board of Control for Cricket in India has suspended Rajasthan Royals co-owner Raj Kundra for betting on Indian Premier League games.
"Mr. Raj Kundra has been suspended pending enquiry from participation in cricket activities under the aegis of BCCI," the board said on Monday after an emergency meeting in which other aspects of an ongoing spot-fixing scandal were also discussed.
The decision came after Delhi Police, which is investigating spot-fixing allegations during the IPL, claimed Kundra conceded that he gambled on IPL games during questioning last week.
According to IPL rules, a team official can be suspended if he brings the tournament into disrepute.
Kundra said he was being "made a scapegoat" and put under trial by the media based on unproven claims.
"I am shocked and upset at the unilateral decision taken today by the BCCI and will fight the grounds of suspension," Kundra said in a statement. "All sorts of accusations were made against me without proof, by people in powerful positions."
Kundra is the second team official to be suspended after Chennai Super Kings team principal Gurunath Meiyappan, who is the son-in-law of BCCI President Narainswamy Srinivasan.
Srinivasan, who is also the managing director of the India Cements company that owns the Chennai franchise, was forced to step aside pending the probe into Meiyappan, who was granted bail last week.
Former ICC and BCCI chief Jagmohan Dalmiya is the interim president of the BCCI.
Though Kundra was never arrested, his name came up in the scandal after a long-winding chain that started with the arrest of three Rajasthan Royals cricketers —test player Shantakumaran Sreesanth, Ankeet Chavan and Ajit Chandila — for allegedly conceding more than a minimum number of runs agreed upon in exchange for money from illegal bookmakers.
However, all three players were granted bail by a Delhi court on Monday.
The three had been arrested from Mumbai on May 16 and initially faced charges of cheating, criminal conspiracy and criminal breach of trust.
They were later also booked under the stringent Maharashtra Control of Organized Crime Act for allegedly being part of an underworld syndicate, but the court rejected the police's plea and said there is not enough evidence to book them under the act.
Delhi Police Commissioner Neeraj Kumar said the police was yet to study the court order.
"We'll examine the order and consult legal experts before deciding on the future course of action," he was quoted as saying by the Press Trust of India.
Another Rajasthan player, Sidharth Trivedi, has also been questioned by police.
The BCCI also announced after Monday's meeting that Ravi Savani, who had been assigned to conduct a probe into the spot-fixing allegations, had submitted his interim report to the disciplinary committee.
No time-frame has been announced on the final decision of the disciplinary committee.
The BCCI also said it had "decided to take measures to clean up Indian cricket," including the IPL.